Can artificial intelligence improve IVF success rates?

4-4-2019 ai for grading ivf embryos
Image: Casey Chin/Wired

In theory, an AI application would be able to pick out the single best embryo to use for IVF to improve the chances of getting pregnant on the first try. Currently, many IVF clinics offer the option to transfer multiple embryos at once to boost the likelihood of getting pregnant, but delivering multiple babies comes with additional risks, such as defects or premature birth.

Life Whisperer is trying to automate the selection process and remove human bias. The company has trained deep-learning algorithms—a subset of machine learning loosely based on how neurons in the brain function—on thousands of embryo images as well as outcome data on whether the embryo transfer resulted in a pregnancy. The program learns from that data so that when it’s presented with an embryo image it hasn’t seen before, it could theoretically classify it by likelihood of pregnancy.

Related article:  AI and digital health devices: FDA’s new guidelines seek to ‘strike a delicate balance’ between safety and innovation

None of these AI programs has been used on patients, only on historical data. A major test will be using them in a clinical trial to compare birth rates between IVF patients whose embryos are evaluated with AI versus those that get standard visual assessment.

Read full, original post: IVF Often Doesn’t Work. Could an Algorithm Help?

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