Almost all you will be surprised to learn that the original “e” in epatient did not refer to anything electronic. What did it mean?

Almost all you will be surprised to learn that the original “e” in epatient did not refer to anything electronic. What did it mean? Does the original meaning matter today, or is it irrelevant, considering the newer and overwhelmingly more recognized technology-related connotation? Elaborate on this topic in two paragraphs