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AI platform goes global to help improve IVF outcomes

Posted April 16, 2020

Lot Fourteen-based company Life Whisperer, part of the Presagen group, has partnered with another global leader in fertility services, Fertility Road, paving the way for a leap forward in the way scientists choose the most viable embryos in the IVF selection process.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is one of the focus sectors at Lot Fourteen, which is also home to the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning.

UK based Fertility Road is a leading preconception platform for patients, which has been at the forefront of promoting emerging technologies, treatments and support to fertility patients around the world for more than a decade.

Life Whisperer is the fertility arm of healthcare company Presagen, which is at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence fertility research and application. The company also operates out of San Francisco and London.

Fertility Road works across five continents and has an extensive global network of clinic partners which interacted with over one million patients last year.

The latest application from Life Whisperer uses AI to analyse microscope images of embryos to assist clinicians to identify which embryo will likely lead to a pregnancy. By selecting the best embryo, Life Whisperer aims to shorten the time to pregnancy and improve outcomes for couples undergoing IVF treatment.

Life Whisperer recently completed an international clinical study across 12 clinics in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia. The results demonstrated that the AI platform was 25 percent more accurate than highly trained and experienced embryologists in identifying the most viable embryos from the medical images of almost 1,600 patient cycles.

Life Whisperer is already commercially available for patients in Australia, and with the help of Fertility Road, it will be launched across Europe. The company is also seeking regulatory approval in the United States and Asia.

Presagen and Life Whisperer co-founder and Chief Executive, Dr Michelle Perugini said the embryo selection technology could help address the global decline in fertility rates and increase success rates in fertility clinics which had remained quite static over the last decade.

“The solution employs a combination of computer vision and machine learning techniques to help rank and identify healthy embryos for implantation, thereby significantly increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy,” she said.

“During the IVF process, eggs are fertilized and develop into embryos. At this point, an embryologist needs to decide which embryo to transfer into the patient.

“Manual selection of embryos is difficult, highly subjective and limited to what the eye can see down a microscope.

“The Life Whisperer application allows clinicians to drag and drop single images of patient embryos taken immediately prior to transfer. It returns an instant report as to the viability of each embryo to support the clinician’s decision about which embryo to transfer.

“Unlike other solutions, Life Whisperer’s web-based approach is non-invasive, does not rely on specialised time-lapse imaging hardware, requires little process change in the clinic, and can be delivered at a low cost to patients.

Fertility Road co-founder, Tone Jarvis-Mack, said the partnership between Life Whisperer and Fertility Road would enable this technology to be made available in more fertility clinics around the world.

“By using this enhanced tool, embryologists will be able to identify the best embryos and consequently increase the chances of treatment being successful,” he said.

“This technology is a game-changer and is one of the most exciting initiatives in IVF technology for some time”.

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