How Software Supports Doctors

Our Stories: Part 2

How ZEISS Software Supports Doctors

Part 2: How ZEISS software supports doctors

In Part 1 of our special issue about digitization we presented two software sites of ZEISS Medical Technology. Our colleagues in Munich, the Indian city of Bangalore, Jena and Dublin, California develop and test software used in ZEISS medical systems. We will present a few examples here.

Software supports doctors during operations that could make all the difference between life and death for their patients. This is shown by the story of Tabitha Williams.

In the minimally invasive correction of defective vision the laser is controlled by software, as our colleague Li Ning from China reports. ZEISS software is used in eye doctors‘ practices and hospitals when the devices need to be networked with each other, and software also supports dentists in their training and talks with patients. 

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The Smiths visit their eye doctor

A married couple wants to take good care of their eyes so that they have good and healthy vision for a long time. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are going to visit a modern eye care facility where the doctors and staff members work smoothly and efficiently with the help of digital networking.

Let us introduce:
Margaret Smith*, 64, worked as a teacher in an elementary school until she retired two years ago. A few weeks ago her family doctor advised her to have her eyes checked on a regular basis as, she said, there were certain age-related eye diseases that showed practically no symptoms in their early stages, but which needed to be treated as quickly as possible to avoid complications. Not least because she wanted to enjoy the view of her beautiful rose garden from her living room window for as long as she possibly could, Margaret decided to take this advice and make an appointment with an eye doctor – also for her husband.

John Smith*, 71, is a retired train driver. For several months now, he has been complaining that his sight is blurred. His cactus collection is his pride and joy, but his sight has gotten so bad that he can hardly tell the plants apart – and his glasses are no help either. His family doctor suspects that a cataract in his left eye is clouding his vision. The eye doctor confirmed this initial diagnosis and referred John immediately to an eye clinic.

Cataract is most commonly caused by age. It is treated by removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens. Cataract surgery is now a routine procedure and the world's most frequently performed operation. The eye doctor explained to John that premium intraocular lenses could even mean that he would not need to wear progressive lenses after the surgery.

Today the Smiths have an appointment in a group eye care center not far from where they live. Margaret is having a long overdue eye exam, and John is to undergo his outpatient surgery. Margaret is at the steering wheel because John hasn't driven for weeks because of his impaired vision.

* The Smiths are purely fictitious. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional. 

Join the Smiths as they make their way through the center and see how software plays a key role in ensuring smooth, efficient examination and treatment workflows!

Move the mouse over the numbers!

Check in

  • Margaret and John Smith visit a group eye care center for appointments with their eye care providers. After checking in with the receptionist, their data is entered in the system and with the help of the FORUM Data Management System from ZEISS automatically sent to all equipment they are scheduled to be tested on that day.

2 Routine tests & biometry exam

  • Margaret normally has her eyes checked every year, but in the past couple of years it just slipped her mind. But today she is receiving a visual field exam. The visual field analyzer transmits the data via FORUM to Margaret's medical record. The center's staff members ask her to undergo a few other routine examinations on equipment from a wide range of manufacturers. Her visual acuity is also checked.

    Meanwhile, John undergoes a comprehensive biometry exam and other tests in preparation for his upcoming cataract surgery. The doctor uses the biometry data of his eyes to select the right artificial intraocular lens for his needs.

    All of Margaret's and John's exam results are sent electronically to the data management system ZEISS FORUM.

    Since FORUM exchanges data with the center's electronic medical records, the couple's test results automatically become part of their digital patient files.

3 Cataract surgery

  • John is about to be wheeled into the OR. Prior to his arrival in the OR, his biometry data for cataract surgery has already been transmitted from FORUM to the surgery system that supports the doctor in precisely positioning the artificial intraocular lens in John's eye. The procedure takes about 20 minutes.

    Not immediately, but just a few days after the surgery, John discovers that he has near perfect vision – and not only of his beloved cactus collection!

4 OCT exam

  • Margaret greets her husband after the surgery. He is wearing a blindfold and he smiles at her. Margaret’s eye care provider asks her to come back for an exam on an Optical Coherence Tomograph (OCT) due to his concerns about her visual field test results.

    Margaret's retina is now examined with an OCT device in a different area of the center.

5 Combined analysis

  • An add-on for the FORUM data management system developed specially to diagnose glaucoma, the FORUM Glaucoma Workplace, and a multi-site FORUM connection enables the doctor to view Margaret's visual field and OCT results in a single report.

    The combined data of these two devices, along with review and comparison of various diagnostic data help support the doctor's clinical decision.

6 Patient consultation

  • During his consultation with Margaret, the doctor uses the FORUM Viewer App on an iPad to show her early signs of glaucomatous damage from her various test results.

    Although this is not good news, 
 Margaret is grateful for the early detection – and early treatment to slow the progression of the disease and preserve her sight for as long as possible.

7 Ongoing disease management

  • The doctor uses the FORUM Glaucoma Workplace Progression Trend Analysis to track and monitor disease progression over the short, mid and long terms, and to facilitate ongoing management of Margaret's glaucoma.