Israeli startup uses AI to identify healthy embryos and increase IVF success

The company is currently piloting 11 women for their algorithm technology to predict embryo implantation probability.
By Sara Mageit
07:24 am
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AI fertility company, Embryonics aims to use AI to improve the odds of successfully implanting an embryo during in vitro fertilisation.

The team of algorithm specialists, data scientists and embryologists are developing an algorithm to predict embryo-implanting probability, through training with IVF time-lapsed imaging of developing embryos.

An ongoing clinical study at the Nadiya Clinic of Reproductive Medicine in Kyiv has reported its first six pregnancies while five other participants are awaiting test results.

The company plans a clinical trial at several sites in the United States with the expectation of obtaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of 2021.

Presented in a peer-reviewed study at the Medical Imaging with Deep Learning conference in Montreal, the technology was developed on a curated data set from tens of thousands of IVF cycles, including time-lapse videos of embryos. 

WHY IT MATTERS

As millennial women are putting off having children because of economic concerns, the IVF market continues to grow, giving fertility companies an opportunity to develop innovative solutions that facilitate the IVF process.

According to Grand View Research, the IVF market is expected to grow from $18.3 billion (€15 billion) in 2019 to nearly double that in the next five years.

Women who undergo IVF each year have faced costs of anywhere from $10,000 (€8,000) to $15,000 (€12,000) per cycle. It is here where Embryonics aims to reduce the number of IVF rounds and their attendant expenses.

Embryonics' technology, called Ubar uses geometric deep learning, the next generation of machine learning, in a clinical setting. Beyond embryo selection, it is also using this technology to create personalised hormonal treatments for IVF patients and other solutions such as recommending which eggs to preserve.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Philips and Merck recently partnered to develop personalised fertility treatment which includes remote patient monitoring, cloud-based platform services and AI- enabled ultrasound diagnoses.

Investors continue to show an interest for the promising and growing femtech and fertility app market, as remote monitoring models have picked up and proved invaluable during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, fertility app Flo Health settled with the Federal Trade Commission regarding a complaint alleging improper disclosure of sensitive user data to third party marketing.  

ON THE RECORD

Dr Yael Zamir, CEO at Embryonics said: "All this together, based on our calculations, will improve the overall success rate of an IVF process by an average of 10%, which is a lot of - what we call - AI babies, a lot of money and long periods of time. We are not trying to mimic the human expert, we are introducing a new level of accuracy."

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