US-based eye health company Bausch + Lomb has entered into collaboration with IBM to develop a new application for iPhone and iPad for surgeons who perform cataract surgery.

Claimed to be the first of its kind, the new application will enable surgeons to streamline their workflow by delivering patient information and clinical insights, as well as intraocular lens (IOL) options on a single, digital platform at the point of care.

Cataract extraction is becoming a common surgical procedure after a rise in cataracts affecting more than 22 million Americans was recorded, this is expected to rise to 30 million by 2020.

During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens that develops due to the ailment is replaced with an artificial lens, IOL.

The new application will enable surgeons to digitally access information shared by the patients, allowing them to plan their surgical interventions, including IOL selection, and have the option to view the information on digital devices or display screens on walls in the operating room during surgery.

Claremont Eye Associates Dr Anil Shivaram said: “This new mobile solution has real potential to fundamentally change how our practice manages patient information throughout the cataract procedure, from planning through post-operative follow-up.

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“Additionally, having the ability to access the variety of each patient’s surgical information on an iPhone or iPad will allow surgeons to streamline their time management and decision-making process.

“Allowing this mobile platform to organise and essentialise the numerous data sets that cataract surgeons must tackle with each case will also allow for refinement over time for each individual surgeon.

“By capturing, displaying, and analysing the data over time in an iterative process, this app is expected to help surgeons provide better care and potentially help provide improved surgical outcomes, while at the same time increasing their efficiency.”

The new application can electronically manage patient data across iPhone and iPad while hosting health-related data on the IBM Cloud Platform, Bluemix, and conveying customised IOL options to surgeons.

“This app is expected to help surgeons provide better care and potentially help provide improved surgical outcomes, while at the same time increasing their efficiency.”

It will be designed and developed by MobileFirst for iOS team, which is part of IBM Global Business Services.

Bausch + Lomb aims to optimise the application to collect data over time, resulting in a cognitive application that applies machine-based learning and predictive analytics to deliver real-time insights to surgeons.

The application allows the compilation of each cataract patient’s information including IOL calculations, corneal topography and other biometry results, as well as lifestyle preferences allowing surgeons and their staff to create a comprehensive, integrated profile to help them facilitate IOL selection and procedure planning.

Historical surgical data and other patient insights can also be housed within the application to potentially support positive clinical outcomes for future cataract.

Image: A close up rendering of an eyeball. Photo: courtesy of IBM.