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Sightsavers and partners launch app to improve cataract operations

June 2018
The operating theatre during cataract surgery,

A new app has been launched at the World Ophthalmology Congress to help eye care specialists ensure the quality of cataract surgery.

BOOST, which stands for Better Operative Outcomes Software Tool, helps surgeons monitor their operations so they can improve their results.

Many cataract patients in low and middle income countries often cannot afford to travel the long distances for follow-up care, so eye care workers needed a simple tool to measure, benchmark and improve their results, even where few patients return.

BOOST is designed to enable surgeons to measure surgical quality straight after surgery and to record surgical information in a single, accessible place. It was developed following a study published in the Lancet Global Health journal, which showed that testing vision immediately after an operation is a valid way of measuring the quality of the surgery.

The app, which is free to download, was funded by Standard Chartered Bank’s Seeing is Believing initiative and was a collaboration between Sightsavers, The Fred Hollows Foundation, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Orbis International, Aravind Eye Hospitals and the International Council of Ophthalmology.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide, including in the countries across Africa and Asia where Sightsavers works.

A close-up of surgical tools.

How are cataracts treated?

Vision can usually be restored with a straightforward operation, which for adults can take as little as 20 minutes.

About cataract surgery

We work to restore sight in more than 30 countries

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