App helps patients with cataracts have smoother surgery process

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Tommy Korn, MD, a San Diego-based ophthalmologist, and his multidisciplinary team at Sharp HealthCare develop the perioperative app called Sharp Health Companion. The app is based on Apple’s open-source health platform, CareKit, which uses smartphones and health wearables to assist patients with their medical care. The Sharp Health Companion app acts like a physician or nurse at a patient’s side, guiding patients with critical information ranging from directions to the surgery location to timely reminders for putting in eye drops before and after surgery. The app also allows doctors and care teams to monitor patients remotely by tracking eye drop adherence and vision performance with a built-in visual acuity test using an iPhone screen. 

According to Korn, the next step is to expand the use of the app for retina, oculoplastic, and glaucoma procedures. There is also a plan to engineer the Sharp Health Companion app for other types of surgeries such as orthopedics, urology, obstetrics/gynecology, and ENT procedures, Korn said.