Biologically, human beings are programmed to procreate. While society has afforded many the luxury of deviating away from this instinctual drive, there is no disputing the fact that for many, the opportunity to father or mother children has an intrinsic value with no real replacement. As more and more couples choose to have children later in life, whether it be for career or personal reasons, individuals will continue to have difficulty facilitating this evolutionary calling.
According to the World Health Organization, infertility affects more than 7.3 million couples in the US. An increasing number of babies have been conceived through scientific intervention. It’s pertinent to add that this process averages many couples at least $20K a go, with a minimum of five treatments before any of them typically are successful (Forbes). This could span many of them years, making it virtually impossible to produce a biological child in the allotted timeframe.
What happens when your timeline becomes incompatible with your biological clock?
Many couples have been forced to entertain solutions like In vitro fertilization or “IVF,” when the possibility of getting pregnant naturally was off the table. Unortunately IVF isn’t a sure thing. It’s expensive, unpredictable, and physically taxing. Many couples go through several rounds before an embryo takes. It’s an emotionally exhausting process that for some result in a child, and for others solidify a heart break that will never fully heal.
AiVF — an Israel-based startup — is hoping to change that. They have recently announced the European approval to design and execute their AI-based digital embryology management platform. This platform “combines AI, computer vision, and big data to reduce the cost and improve the success rates of fertility treatments” (Forbes). There is already talk about clinical trials of this platform coming to the U.S. soon.
So how does it work, anyway?
CEO Daniella Gilboa and Chief Medical Officer Professor Daniel Seidman have set out to make IVF a reliable, cost-efficient, and data driven process. As the current largest embryo database in the world, AiVF is more than qualified to help physicians identify which embryos are most likely to be successful during the IVF process. The startup champions their exclusive access to its highly skilled support staff, volumes of data, machine learning algorithms and computer vision to function in the same capacity as a well-informed physician assistant. Specifically, this platform would theoretically participate in the decision-making process by offering key findings and insights made based on millions of previous samples.
According to CEO Daniella Gilboa, “[Conformitè Europëenne (CE)] approval gives us an excellent starting point to operate as one of the leading companies in the European IVF market, which is the largest in the world with more than 1 million treatments performed annually in 1,200 clinics, and a market estimated at $4.5 billion” (Forbes). She later adds that, “AiVF’s solution could dramatically improve the chances of successful IVF treatments and lower their cost in the EU, thus reducing the suffering of those going through the IVF process and enabling millions of others to fulfill their dream of having a baby” (Forbes).
If AiVF is successful, it will employ the use of algorithms, data, and deep learning (DL) to dramatically change the typical outcome for an IVF treatment. In fact, one can even argue that it stands to revolutionize the healthcare system in its entirety, should the platform successfully execute what it has set out to do.
It is very rare that the best interest of a company’s stockholders is congruous with the impact the company’s success will have on its customers. One can only hope that many other companies will follow the footsteps of AiVF: a company that both satisfies a niche market, while also pursuing an altruistic goal.
Much like anything in life, there are no guarantees. There’s no telling what the future holds but perhaps AiVF will be leading the way to a new type of healthCARE.
The Systech Solutions, Inc. Blog Series is designed to showcase ongoing innovations in the data and analytics space. If you have any suggestions for an upcoming article, or would like to volunteer to be interviewed, please contact Olivia Klayman at email@example.com.
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