Novel Mobile App May Help Doctors Diagnose Uveitis

OCTOBER 17, 2016
Ryan Black
Presented this week in Chicago at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2016 Meeting, a novel new mobile application may make it easier for clinicians to specifically diagnose uveitis. Developed by a team of Spanish ophthalmologists led by José A. Gegúndez-Fernández (pictured left), Uvemaster is an intuitive, interactive Diagnostic Decision Support System (DDSS) intended to help general ophthalmologists respond to a patient’s specific symptoms.

Containing a knowledge base of 88 uveitic syndromes with 76 related clinical items each, it contains 6,688 factors to be weighed and filtered by its inference engine. After inputting the patient’s basic demographic information, doctors are able to mark all verifiably present and absent symptoms. The application then provides potential diagnoses, weighted for sensitivity, specificity, and PPV (proportion of sick among positives).

To help clinicians further, the app has a section it calls “Uvepedia,” an information guide with an extensive backlog of lab tests, investigations, treatment options, and prognoses. While not intended as a standalone or a replacement for clinical discretion, the app uses a diagnostic model found to have 96.6% predictive accuracy.

The application’s creators stress that the goal of the project is cost-reduction. In hopes of helping ophthalmologists more quickly and accurately diagnose uveitic conditions, the aim is to reduce the number of false positives, referrals, an incorrect treatments. Relatively inexpensive and publicly available, Gegúndez says about 400 doctors have purchased the app to use in its first year on the market.

One of the report’s co-authors, José M. Benítez-Castillo, underscores Uvemaster’s role as an aid rather than a replacement for expertise. “It helps. If you are an expert on uveitis, you may not need it, but for a general ophthalmologist it can help.”

The group’s scientific poster on the working mechanisms and efficacy of Uvemaster was selected as a “Best Poster” by the AAO. The application can be set to either English or Spanish.

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