Australian startup using AI to improve IVF results

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Australian startup using AI to improve IVF results

Life Whisperer aims to use intelligent image analysis to help improve the success rate of in vitro fertilisation.

Artificial intelligence has many potential applications but one area where it has already proven to be effective is classifying images. IBM’s Watson cognitive system, for example, is being used in medical diagnosis in various ways, including the detection of melanoma based on images.

Another example is the way Australian startup Life Whisperer is using AI-based image analysis to help improve the IVF success rate.

The IVF success rate isn't particularly high. For younger women it's in the region of 50 percent, but that's for a “clinical pregnancy” and it falls with age. Most patients are more interested in the so-called “take-home baby rate”, which is somewhat lower to start with, and again decreases with age.

An important part of the process is picking the most viable embryo for transfer. That's currently a manual process, but an Australian startup is aiming to apply AI to the task, using a process originating at the University of Adelaide.

Life Whisperer is working on a technique developed by co-founder Dr Jonathan Hall that uses AI to analyse images of embryos to assess their viability.

Dr Hall's co-founders include Dr Michelle Perugini and Dr Don Perugini, who set up Presagen, which applies AI to business process automation.

Life Whisperer is currently looking for a commercial partner to help validate the technology.

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