Alcon to build digital platform to improve cataract surgery

Novartis’ ophthalmology division Alcon has announced plans to build a digital platform to streamline, simplify and improve cataract surgery for surgeons and patients.

Alcon will use its SMART digital technology suite to connect multiple diagnostic and surgical devices through a digital, open cloud-based infrastructure that integrates with clinics’ existing cataract diagnostic equipment, electronic medical record (EMR) systems, and specialist software for cataracts.

The aim is to provide eye care professionals with easy access to patients’ vital diagnostic data throughout the cataract procedure, providing a simplified clinical process, consistency and greater efficiency.

Alcon said the cloud-based data will help eye care professionals analyse and optimise procedures with increased precision, driving improved patient outcomes.

The SMART Suite will be built on the Philips HealthSuite digital platform, which provides the proven expertise and regulatory compliance for cloud-based services and technical tools.

HealthSuite’s medical cloud capabilities will connect Alcon and third party surgical and diagnostic devices, while its data aggregation and storage services will allow eye care professionals to collect data from devices, EMRs and patients and store it securely.

The system is designed to safeguard the privacy of health data by controlling administrator, as well as patient and clinician access to data.

The Philips platform will also enable the SMART Suite by Alcon to facilitate secure, open data exchange between facilities, clinicians and patients.

Michael Onuscheck, president, global business and Innovation at Alcon, said: “The SMART Suite by Alcon will be an important addition to our market-leading cataract refractive equipment portfolio and it builds on our existing cloud-based technologies like the ORA System.

“Our collaboration with Philips reflects our ongoing commitment to deliver market-leading innovations that improve the surgical process and deliver optimal outcomes for patients.”

The unit plans to announce additional details on the SMART Suite in mid-2019 and will be fully compatible with currently available surgical equipment.

In June, Novartis announced plans to spin off Alcon next year in a deal that could value the unit at up to $22 billion.

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