IBM unveils iPhone and iPad cognitive app with machine learning and predictive analytics features for surgeons

In a deal with Bausch + Lomb, IBM announced a cloud-based app that helps cataract specialists plan and conduct surgeries. 
By Jack McCarthy
10:23 AM
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IBM and Bausch + Lomb announced a partnership Thursday to offer an app for iPhones and iPads to deliver patient and clinical information to help doctors to plan and carry out cataract surgery.

Using the app, surgeons will be able to view information on digital devices or display screens on walls in the operating room during surgery as well as receive guidance for selection of a single, digital platform at the point of care, the companies said in a statement

The app will electronically manage patient information across an iPhone or iPad while hosting health-related data on IBM Cloud and relay recommendations on Intraocular lens (IOL), a lens implanted in the eye used to treat cataracts, to surgeons to enhance surgical planning and improve patient outcomes.

[Also: Epic to develop Apple Watch app called Limerick]

IBM’s MobileFirst for iOS team, part of the company’s Global Business Services, is designing and developing the app, with plans to optimize it to collect data over time. The project’s goal is to create a cognitive app that applies machine-based learning and predictive analytics to deliver real-time analysis and insights to surgeons.

Currently, many cataract surgeons consult patient data in the operating room via print-outs or notes created during pre-op patient office visits, which can often be bothersome and inefficient. The new app will be designed to provide surgeons access to information that patients have agreed to share, enabling doctors 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.

In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens – an IOL. Cataract extraction is the most common surgical procedure among Medicare beneficiaries and cataract rates are on the rise. Cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans and that number is expected to rise to 30 million by 20202. Cataracts – a clouding of the eye’s lens that can lead to blindness if untreated – affect approximately 70 percent of people by age 753.

“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,” Anil Shivaram, MD, of Claremont Eye Associates in Claremont, California, said in a statement.  “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. By capturing, displaying, and analyzing the data over time in an iterative process, this app will help surgeons to provide excellent surgical outcomes, while at the same time increasing their efficiency.”

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