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Subspecialties Cataract, Business and Innovation, Education and Training

Bridging the App

Smartphone technology is on the rise across all medical disciplines – and ophthalmology is already benefiting from improved screening, surgical planning, outcome tracking, and education, and one of the latest areas of ophthalmology to benefit from smartphone tech is IOL selection. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of IOLs on the market, you may have wished there was “an app for that.” Well, now there is: our “IOL Reference” is an app available for iOS-based phones and tablets (sorry, Android users – you’ll have to wait, for now) or as a website directory at

The app assists in operative planning by allowing surgeons to search according to their needs and specifications through a database of currently marketed and FDA-approved IOLs; finding the perfect fit is as easy as filtering the search parameters on your weekly online shop. It also provides a resource for residents and students to learn about the entire spectrum of current lens options. One great advantage of having the technology available as an app is that it immediately becomes accessible for anyone across the globe, and anyone familiar with smartphone apps will be comfortable with the set of options provided.

The database contains almost 10,000 individually cataloged lenses and is updated daily to include newly FDA-approved IOLs, changes to current lenses, and corrections submitted by users or company representatives. A good relationship with industry has allowed our team to stay up to date and ahead of new lens options to make the app as accurate as possible.

The app allows surgeons to input multiple parameters, such as power, toricity, material, manufacturer, cartridge, injection, among others, to view a final selection of appropriate IOLs. It can also be used to quickly search by model number, manufacturer or lens platform to rapidly find information on lenses in one area.

Our next step for the app is to make it accessible on Android devices, which will open access and ease of use even further. For Android and web-based users, the directory (as well as updates, app news, and a feedback form) is available at We have immediate plans to expand functionality to include an outcome tracking feature that will provide detailed data on refractive outcomes, surgically induced astigmatism, and personalized A-constants. Further updates will include a biometry transcription feature for error-free access to online IOL calculations that may not be available on in-office machines. This update would allow more surgeons to have practical access to the newer IOL calculations integrated with machine learning algorithms and the most recent methods for accurate predictions. We believe these features will make the app fit better within a clinic flow, as it avoids manual entry of any parameters, and tracking can be as easy as scanning the desired input with a smartphone. 

In our view, we’ve produced something valuable for the whole community – but we’re always keen to receive feedback. Let us know what you think! 

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About the Authors
Gurpal Virdi

Founder of EyeLabs.AI, ophthalmology resident at the University of Missouri, USA

Matt Hirabayashi

Founder of, ophthalmology resident at the University of Missouri, USA

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