UPDATED with a clarification from IBM Watson Health.
IBM Watson plans to discontinue customer support for the Merge Eye Station digital fundus imaging platform and the Merge Eye PACS web-based image management system by the end of 2020. Topcon said it intends to provide a transition path for Merge Eye customers.
Topcon said it plans to allow customers to move patient data from the Merge Eye platform to its cloud-based Harmony data management system, regardless of existing hardware. Topcon also plans to allow data merging with its ImageNET 6 data management platform.
The Oakland, N.J.–based company also intends to offer a trade-in support program, giving existing Merge Eye customers an option to upgrade to Topcon’s latest imaging technology.
“We are pleased to welcome [Merge Eye Care PACS and Eye Station customers] to Topcon’s software ecosystem,” Topcon president Akifumi Baba said in a news release. “Our team has been working diligently to develop a suite of applications that will allow Merge Eye Care PACS and Eye Station users to seamlessly transition to Topcon Harmony.”
Last August, IBM pushed back against reports that its artificial intelligence-powered products deliver less than promised, claiming that the reports are unfair and ignore its capabilities. A number of news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and STAT News, published criticisms of IBM’s Watson Health offerings, claiming that its capabilities fall short of the company’s large promises.