Valeant collaborates with IBM on cataract app

Valeant’s eye health subsidiary Bausch + Lomb is to work with IBM to develop an app to aid cataract surgeons.

The app will be designed to help manage workflow for cataract surgeons by making patient information, clinical insights and intraocular lens (IOL) selection guidance available at the point of care.

Through hosting on the IBM Cloud, the app will allow patient data to be managed on iPhone and iPads as well as the providing customised IOL options to surgeons. IOL calculations, corneal topography, lifestyle preferences, historical surgical data and other patient insights will provide a comprehensive profile of patients.

Following initial design by MobileFirst for iOS – part of IBM’s Global Business Services – eventually, Bausch + Lomb plans to apply machine learning technologies to further improve insights provided to surgeons.

“Improving health outcomes is at the core of our business at Valeant,” said Joseph C. Papa, chairman and chief executive of Valeant. “We’re excited that Bausch + Lomb and IBM will team up to develop a first-of-its-kind app that takes the best of each business’s capabilities and focuses on enhancing critical decision-making for surgeons.”

Andy Chang, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. Surgical for Bausch + Lomb, also commented: “By combining IBM’s advanced data management capabilities with Apple’s innovative app ecosystem and our clinical expertise, we are working to provide surgeons with a convenient, personalised tool that helps them better manage and access patient profiles digitally, and provide personalised IOL options.”

The ophthalmology field represents a huge – and relatively untapped by digital health -market for IBM, with cataracts affecting around 70% of people by the age of 75 and more than 22 million Americans affected annually. This figure is expected to rise to 30 million by 2020, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. IBM Watson Health has already made moves into various health markets this year, including Parkinson’s disease and cancer.

Pilot testing for the new app is expected to begin in late 2016.

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