The Apple of your eye: IBM, Bausch + Lomb team up for cataract surgery iOS app

Image via IBM

Image via IBM

Cataracts affect a lot of people -- more than 22 million Americans now, and the number is expected to rise to 30 million by 2020. The condition causes cloudiness in the lens of an eye that can lead to blindness if untreated, and it affects almost 70 percent of people by age 75. Cataract surgery replaces the cloudy lens with a flexible artificial lens. Today IBM and Bausch + Lomb announced a plan to start pilot testing of an iOS cataract surgery app in late 2016.

The collaboration is part of IBM's MobileFirst for iOS team run by IBM Global Business Services. IBM will design and develop the custom app for Bausch + Lomb, while the latter firm plans to optimize the app to collect data so that the app applies machine-based learning and predictive analytics, delivering real-time information to surgeons. 

The workflow enabled by the app will replace present-day paper-based workflows in the operating room, giving surgeons access to information shared by patients and allowing the doctors to plan surgery and select the proper lens implant. Surgeons can view the information on iPads or iPhones in the operating room, or on display screens on walls.