Researchers are developing new methods of incorporating artificial intelligence into diagnostics, allowing physicians to identify diseases far more quickly and start treatment earlier, improving patient outcomes.
One area of medicine that has seen extensive researcher is image analysis. One of the latest applications in this area could help embryologists select the healthiest embryos for use in IVF treatments. The new AI technique has the potential to greatly improve IVF success rates.
Human analysis has its limits. Embryologists can assess embryos, although in the early stages of development, many features of healthy embryos are not visible to the human eye. Determining the most viable embryos for use in IVF treatments therefore involves tracking development over time.
However, a new Australian start up – Life Whisperer- believes it has developed a new technique that can be used to speed up and improve the accuracy of assessments of embryos for use in IVF treatments.
The technique involves a combination of human and machine analysis. The AI system is fed with images and assesses morphological features and other important indicators of healthy embryos. Algorithms are then used to determine the healthiest embryos for implantation.
Since the AI system can detect features that the human eye cannot discern, and is capable of analyzing huge numbers of samples, the system can build up a database of information from retrospective cases. With more data, the team’s AI system will be able to learn more features that are indicative of healthy embryos to further improve the process of embryo selection.
The technique is noninvasive, requires no additional equipment, and could easily be adopted by IVF clinics as an add-on service. Embryologists can use conventional microscopes to capture images of embryos which can then be fed through the AI system, which will help to determine the potential of the embryo using its algorithms.
It is hoped the new system will prevent many families from undergoing unsuccessful IVF treatments and will greatly improve success rates.
Life Whisperer is currently looking to partner with a large IVF clinic to complete the final phase of its validation tests. The new system will then be developed into an online product that can be accessed by IVF clinics around the globe.