Aussie startup claims its AI outperforms embryologists

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Aussie startup claims its AI outperforms embryologists

Medical image analysis is one area where artificial intelligence is more accurate than human experts, according to Life Whisperer.

As we've previously reported, Life Whisperer is an Australian startup that applies AI-based image analysis to improve the IVF success rate.

An important part of the IVF process is picking the most viable embryo for transfer, and the company says a patient study has shown its AI performs significantly better than world-leading embryologists when identifying viable embryos from medical images.

Over almost 600 patient cycles, Life Whisperer's AI was shown to perform over 30 percent more accurately than highly trained and experienced embryologists in identifying the viability of embryos, the company says.

Furthermore, Life Whisperer's AI was able to correctly classify embryo viability 148 times when embryologists were incorrect, whereas embryologists correctly classified embryo viability only 54 times where Life Whisperer was incorrect, it says.

“These results show a clear advantage when using Life Whisperer to identify embryo viability when compared with world-leading embryologists,” said Life Whisperer co-founder Dr Michelle Perugini.

“We believe this will be a game changer for the IVF industry with its ability to improve outcomes for couples wanting to have children, where the current success rate is very low, at around 20 percent to 30 percent.”

An IVF “success” usually means a “clinical pregnancy”, that is a positive pregnancy test about two weeks after treatment. Would-be parents are more interested in the so-called “take-home baby rate”, which is an even smaller percentage. Whichever measure you use, success rates decline as the woman's age increases.

Life Whisperer's technology is easy to use – clinicians simply drag-and-drop embryo images from a standard microscope into the cloud-based tool to receive an instant embryo viability report.

The company is looking for partners able to provide images of embryos and their outcomes to further train the AI ahead of a planned product launch later this year.

Life Whisperer co-founder Dr Don Perugini said: “We have already had a good response from IVF clinics, medical companies and research institutes from around the world that are looking to partner, including US, Canada, UK, Europe and Asia.

“For IVF clinics, not only will they have first use of this technology to help their patients, but we are able to offer a free validation of the technology on their specific data, and importantly a heavily discounted fee when the product is launched and used within their clinic.”

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