Improvements in Patient-safety and surgical efficiency from the use of Big data and AI in the NHS and Cataract Operations – 29 September 2022

The Medicine and Health Panel Speaker Series continued with an event looking at the use of Big Data to improve patient outcomes and how AI is being used to ease the burden of post operation follow up in the field of cataract operations.  

We were fortunate to have panel member and Liveryman Larry Benjamin and his colleague Mike Adams come along to the WCIT Livery Room and share with us some fascinating insights into their world and how they have been working to improve things both for patients and the clinicians.

Cataract operations are very common and usually involves both eyes being treated. We humans are very sensitive to our eyes and since the pandemic, the surgeons have been looking at new ways to improve throughput as well as reducing the drain on patients time.

Our first speaker: Liveryman Mr Larry Benjamin FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth DO, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Bucks Hospital NHS Trust gave a talk on “Risk stratification to reduce operative risk in cataract surgery”

Liveryman Mr Larry Benjamin FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth DO

This talk looked at the early adoption of the use and analysis of big data from the National Cataract Dataset, in creating a risk score for each individual patient undergoing cataract surgery at our Hospital.  The adoption of Electronic Patient records allowed the remote centralised collection of complications data from Eye units around the UK. By analysing these complications it was possible to create a risk score for each individual patient and this has led to a reduction in the most common sight-threatening surgical risk by 20%. As cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the world, this represents a significant number of people prevented from sight-threatening complications.

Our Second speaker: Mr Mike Adams MB BChir MA FRCOphth PG Dip, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Bucks Hospital NHS Trust gave a talk on a BOT called Dora, Post-operative friend or Foe?

Mr Mike Adams MB BChir MA FRCOphth PG Dip

This talk looked at the trials of Dora, an AI based automated telephone follow-up system for post-op cataract patients. The average age for cataract surgery is 78 years – will the patients love it or hate it?  The original trials were carried out at Stoke Mandeville hospital (where both speakers are based). Mike shared with us the enormous progress being made as well as the surprising uptake by patients who on many cases preferred talking to a BOT with particular acceptance by the elderly cohort of patients. The system removed the need for patients to travel in for a simple check and allowed more time for those who develop complications. All in all, a process that saves the NHS time and money.

The meeting was  chaired by Paul Finch and a vote of thanks was expressed by Brian Best, a new freeman.

Next Events:

15th November: Health Tech Market Update / Movers & Shakers in partnership with the Entrepreneurs Panel

15th February: Virtual Care Wards, Hatim Abdulhussein National Clinical Lead – AI and Digital Medical Workforce Directorate of Innovation, Digital and Transformation

25th April: Mental Wellbeing: Poppy Jaman OBE a Global Mental Health Advocate

June: The use of Robotics to support children in isolation caused by illness e.g. cancer treatment

September: The annual debate, is AI artificial or augmented intelligence