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Supporting the Development of the IPSS-M Calculator for Improved MDS Prognosis

Supporting the Development of the IPSS-M Calculator for Improved MDS Prognosis

Nevena Krstic


In 2022 and 2023, Colab Health worked with the MDS Foundation and the International Working Group for Prognosis in MDS (IWG-PM) to update the IPSS-M calculator. This powerful tool estimates the prognosis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) progressing into acute myeloid leukemia (AML) using molecular data. In this blog post, we will explore the process of updating the IPSS-M calculator, highlight the key enhancements made, and discuss future plans for further improvements.

Since June 1st, 2022, the IPSS-M calculator has had had the following metrics*:

  • 48.26k total visits
  • 28.84k unique users
  • 138.4k risk computations
  • Top 10 countries using the calculator include: USA, Germany, China, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Canada, Australia and Sweden
*As of September 2023.

The IPSS-M Calculator:

The IPSS-M calculator is a New Standard in MDS Risk Stratification, and represents a significant advancement in risk stratification for MDS patients at the time of diagnosis. It provides a personalized, interpretable, and reproducible score that takes into account genomic profiling, hematologic parameters, and cytogenetic data. By considering these factors, the IPSS-M calculator enables healthcare professionals to make informed clinical decisions and tailor treatment plans based on each patient's molecular profile.

The IPSS-M calculator offers several distinct advantages over previous calculators such as IPSS-R. It provides a flexible and transparent strategy to account for missing values, ensuring accurate risk assessment even in cases with incomplete data. Additionally, the calculator presents a comprehensive list of the 31 genes that should be considered in diagnostic assay design, facilitating targeted testing and identification of potential therapeutic targets.

Through collaboration with the MDS Foundation and IWG-PM the IPSS-M calculator is now available on web, Android and iOS.

The IPSS-M Calculator Update:

Recognizing the need for a more accessible and comprehensive calculator, we embarked on a journey to revamp the IPSS-M calculator in collaboration with the MDS Foundation and the IWG-PM. The previous version of the IPSS-M calculator was only available on the web, limiting its reach and usability, and couldn’t be accessed offline. To address this, we engaged a UX/UI designer to create intuitive designs for both web and mobile platforms, ensuring a seamless user experience.

The transition to React Native as the code base allowed us to develop a mobile app, making the IPSS-M calculator readily available to healthcare professionals globally, as well as functioning offline if needed. Alongside this significant update, we introduced several new features to enhance the functionality and usability of the calculator:

  1. Unit Customization: Users can now choose between different units for hemoglobin, tailoring the calculator to their preferred measurement system
  2. PDF Report Generation: The calculator generates a comprehensive report in PDF format, which can be downloaded or shared via various channels. This report provides a concise summary of the results, aiding in clinical decision-making
  3. Updated Graphs: The graphs within the calculator have been refined to highlight the results effectively, allowing for easy interpretation and analysis
  4. Inclusion of Published Data: We incorporated a table from the paper published in June 2022 in the New England Journal of Medicine Evidence by Bernard et al.,, adding valuable insights and further supporting clinicians in their prognostic assessments
  5. Menu: We added a menu with additional information on MDS Foundation and the IWG-PM, as well as a copy of the published abstract

Future Plans and Enhancements:

Building upon the success of the IPSS-M calculator update, we have plans to continue improving this vital tool. Our roadmap for future enhancements includes:

  1. Multilingual Translations: To cater to a global audience, we plan to incorporate translations into multiple languages, beginning with French, Spanish and Portuguese, ensuring that healthcare professionals worldwide can benefit from the IPSS-M calculator
  2. API Development: This API-driven approach will empower developers to incorporate the IPSS-M calculator's functionality directly into their applications, fostering innovation and customization within the medical field. It will facilitate the automation of data input and result retrieval, reducing manual effort and potential errors

Reaching a Global Audience:

The primary audience for the IPSS-M calculator and its updates are healthcare professionals worldwide. By offering an accessible and user-friendly interface, along with mobile app versions for both Android and iOS devices, we aim to enable physicians to accurately identify patients with higher-risk MDS at an early stage. This early detection can lead to timely intervention and personalized treatment strategies, ultimately improving patient outcomes. Through user feedback, and analytics, the IPSS-M team will be able to identify additional languages that the calculator should be translated to, to enable a wider global reach and ensure healthcare professionals can use the IPSS-M Calculator in their local language.

Accessing the IPSS-M Calculator and Mobile Apps:

The IPSS-M calculator is readily accessible on the web through the following link: IPSS-M Calculator. Healthcare professionals can utilize this web-based tool to input patient data and obtain the corresponding IPSS-M score, aiding in prognosis assessment and treatment decision-making.

For convenient on-the-go access, we have developed mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices. The Android version of the IPSS-M calculator app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store: Android App. Likewise, the iOS version is available for download from the Apple App Store: iOS App.

About the MDS Foundation:

The MDS Foundation is a global non-profit advocacy organization that for over 25 years has supported patients and their families, as well as healthcare providers in the fields of MDS and its related diseases. Their vision is for every MDS patient to benefit from their initiatives and research as early as possible.

The MDS Foundation supports and educates patients, their communities, and healthcare providers, and contributes to innovative research in the fields of MDS and its related continuum of diseases to better diagnose, control and ultimately cure these diseases.

To learn more about the MDS Foundation and its initiatives, please visit their official website: Link to MDS Foundation's website.

About the IWG-PM:

The International Working Group for Prognosis in MDS (IWG-PM) is a collaborative consortium of international investigators aligned through the MDS Foundation. The IWG-PM focuses on defining the clinical and biological features of MDS to enhance their understanding of the disease's nature and progression. Through their efforts, the IWG-PM has developed crucial prognostic tools like the IPSS-M calculator, integrating genomic profiling with hematologic and cytogenetic parameters to provide personalized risk stratification. This is a valuable tool for clinical decision-making, offering the prospect of tailoring diagnosis and therapeutic interventions to each patient’s molecular profile.

The IPSS-M data by Bernard et al., were published in the New England Journal of Medicine Evidence in June 2022: https://evidence.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/EVIDoa2200008

More information on the IWG-PM and their current projects can be found on their official website: Link to IWG-PM's website.


The collaborative efforts between the MDS Foundation, IWG-PM, and our team at Colab Health have resulted in significant enhancements to the IPSS-M calculator. The updated calculator, available on both web and mobile platforms, empowers healthcare professionals with a valuable tool for risk stratification in MDS patients. With further developments planned, including multilingual translations and API development, we are committed to continually improving the IPSS-M calculator's usability and effectiveness.

By providing accurate risk assessment and tailored treatment options, the IPSS-M calculator is paving the way for improved patient care, better outcomes, and ultimately, a brighter future for individuals diagnosed with MDS.

Click the links below to access the IPSS-M Calculator:

  • Click here for the web version
  • Click here for the Android App
  • Click here for the iOS App

About Nevena Krstic

Articles by Nevena Krstic

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