The field of fertility treatments is experiencing a surge in demand, fueled by several significant factors. A shift towards starting families at a later age, the increasing number of same-sex couples seeking assistance, and concerning studies revealing a decline in male fertility are all contributing to this trend. According to the Pew Research Center, the use of fertility treatments to assist with the birth process in the US has more than tripled from 1996 to 2015.
Presently, one in every eight couples encounters challenges with infertility, and the available treatment options often come with a hefty price tag. In the United States, a single cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) costs approximately $12,000, with medication expenses driving the total up to $25,000. It's important to note that many patients typically require three to five cycles on average in order to achieve a successful pregnancy.
Developing countries also face significant infertility issues, affecting one in four couples worldwide. Overall, around 48.5 million couples globally struggle with infertility, and this condition is rapidly emerging as an epidemic.
Although IVF has been a widely used technique for over four decades, its outcomes remain unpredictable. Furthermore, access to fertility care remains dishearteningly low. In developed markets such as the United States, only 2% of individuals grappling with infertility have used IVF as a solution.
In his comment to Forbes Eran Eshed, the CEO of Fairtility, highlights the stagnation of data and artificial intelligence (AI) usage in influencing IVF outcomes, despite numerous advancements in biotechnology. Eshed emphasizes that while data science cannot resolve biological challenges, AI has the potential to revolutionize the IVF process by enhancing decision-making at every critical juncture. These advancements hold the promise of boosting embryologists' efficiency by up to 50% and increasing the chances of achieving a live birth by 4%.
Now, let's delve into the realm of fertility technology and explore five companies that are advancing the integration of AI to revolutionize the field.
With a team of AI, medtech, and regulatory experts, ImVitro is spearheaded by Dr. Alexandra Boussommier, a highly skilled biomedical engineer trained in Switzerland, the UK, and the US. The company's flagship product, EMBRYOLY, is a B2B SaaS platform that harnesses computer vision and AI to enhance the imaging process in IVF fertility. EMBRYOLY is already being used by over a dozen clinics in Europe, processing more than 1,500 IVF cycles. By automating embryo evaluation, EMBRYOLY reduces errors, saves time for clinicians, and provides transparent predictions. The platform utilizes over 30 clinical data points, including BMI, uterus receptivity, and spermatozoa mobility, to deliver accurate and personalized results.
In December 2022 this deep-tech company secured a $2.5 million seed round led by LDV Capital and backed by co-investors including MMC Ventures, Tiny VC, Fly Ventures, and Compound VC. ImVitro's recent funding will support the expansion to the US market, recruitment of new technical and sales personnel, and the development of additional software features.
Founded in 2020 by CEO Paxton Maeder-York, who brings expertise in surgical robotics, Alife aims to modernize fertility treatments by leveraging AI and data science. The company's flagship product, Alife Assist, is a suite of AI-powered tools that provide data-driven insights to clinicians, embryologists, and clinic managers. One such tool, Stim Assist, assists reproductive endocrinologists in determining the optimal medication dosage and timing for maximizing the retrieval of mature eggs during ovarian stimulation cycles. Embryo Assist streamlines the embryologist's workflow by automating reports, capturing and grading embryo data, and connecting to electronic medical records. Alife's platform leverages AI and large IVF data sets to improve the overall IVF treatment process and deliver a more personalized experience for patients. The company has partnered with top fertility clinics to collect data and test their technology, with plans to expand its presence in the U.S. market and develop additional software features. In March 2022, the company secured $22 million in series A funding to support its objective of introducing its fertility products to the market and conducting clinical studies for its ongoing product development initiatives.
In May 2023, Alife Health unveiled its mobile application designed to assist patients throughout their IVF journey. The Alife app, available free of charge for iPhone users, offers a user-friendly interface that facilitates tracking test results, setting reminders for appointments and medications, accessing educational information, and preparing for the next steps in the process. With the Alife app, patients can easily monitor their progress, record symptoms and notes, compare cycles, and stay organized.
Fairtility is a leading innovator in transparent AI for in vitro fertilization based in Israel. Fairtility addresses the need for objective and consistent data consolidation and interpretation in the embryology lab, which can significantly impact the success of IVF outcomes. Their solution, CHLOE EQ™ (Cultivating Human Life through Optimal Embryos), is an Embryo Quality Assessment Assistant that offers visibility into the biological data driving the system's assessment conclusions. By leveraging millions of data points collected from various embryology labs worldwide, CHLOE EQ™ empowers IVF professionals to make informed decisions and engage in productive conversations with patients, ultimately reducing the number of IVF cycles required for successful outcomes and enhancing patient care. In May 2022 the company successfully raised $15 million in a Series A funding round, bringing the total funding to $18.5 million. The funding was led by Gurnet Point Capital, with participation from Nacre Capital and other investors. Fairtility plans to invest the Series A funding in clinical research collaborations with fertility clinics and academic institutions, as well as in regulatory approvals, while expanding CHLOE™ to cover the entire IVF journey. Their vision is to revolutionize IVF outcomes and accessibility through digitization and user-centric transparency.
Another Israel-based fertility company AIVF specializes in AI-enabled solutions for in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics. AiVF's EMA™ utilizes a powerful combination of artificial intelligence, computer vision, and extensive data sets to enhance the success rates of IVF treatments for patients. The evaluation tool offered by EMA™ aids in determining the genetic suitability of embryos for transfer, eliminating the need for invasive biopsy procedures such as PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy). In 2021, EMA™ received approval from the CE certifying body, allowing it to be marketed and utilized in IVF fertility clinics throughout Europe.
AIVF raised $25 million in a Series A funding round in October 2022 led by Insight Partners,, which will be utilized to expedite the adoption of their EMA platform in the U.S. and Europe, expand their team, and develop new fertility tools. Part of this funding has been used to acquire lab management software company ART Compass.
In May 2023 AIVF partnered with Genea Biomedx, a provider of medical devices for IVF laboratories. Genea Biomedx offers the Geri time-lapse incubator, a benchtop incubator with individual chambers for storing embryos, equipped with cameras to monitor their development. Through this collaboration, AIVF's EMA platform will be integrated into the Geri incubator, combining imaging capabilities with AI-enabled analytics to enhance the success rate of IVF treatments and provide patients with access to valuable embryo data.
Embryonics is an innovative fertility healthcare AI company with a mission to significantly enhance IVF success rates by up to 50%. By revolutionizing fertility clinics' procedures and transitioning them from subjective "art" to data-driven science, Embryonics aims to reduce expenses and elevate success rates. The company offers a comprehensive suite of AI solutions, including a custom hormonal protocol, CE-marked oocytes and embryo selection, and non-invasive genetic screening. These advanced AI tools empower fertility clinics to make informed decisions based on data analysis, optimizing treatment protocols, and improving patient outcomes. The company received $4M funding in a seed round.
The field of fertility treatments is experiencing a surge in demand due to various factors such as delayed family planning, increasing numbers of same-sex couples seeking assistance, and declining male fertility. Despite advancements in technology, access to care remains limited, and the outcomes of in vitro fertilization treatments remain uncertain. However, innovative companies are leveraging artificial intelligence to revolutionize the field and address these challenges. Companies like ImVitro, Alife, Fairtility, AIVF, and Embryonics are developing AI-powered solutions to improve embryo selection, streamline clinic workflows, enhance decision-making, and increase IVF success rates.
Topics: Biotech Companies