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Artificial Intelligence – The future of Infertility treatments

Artificial Intelligence normally performs human cognitive functions with ease and quickness adding perfection and intelligence to it. Over the last few years, the collaboration between healthcare and artificial intelligence has bought a massive change in the field of healthcare. It has facilitated the enormous availability of data in healthcare and rapid progress in analytical techniques. It has strengthened the fields of cancer treatment, neurology, and cardiology. Many healthcare experts are now experimenting with Artificial Intelligence in other areas of healthcare. The healthcare industry that requires artificial intelligence the most is the area of infertility treatments. There is a need to bring a wave of Artificial Intelligence in the field that will indeed change the future of infertility treatments. 

The current field of Infertility hasn’t changed since the late 1980 ‘s invention of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection ( ICSI). It still works on the manual functions of embryologists. This is because there is a lack of consistent data collection. There is a lack of a shared language, high variation in various manual operators, restricted metrics: fertilization, implantation and live birth, difficulties in isolating variation in individual measures and general lack of understanding of basic best practices. So it is time to drive the growth in this industry by bringing in automation and robotics. To revive the future of infertility treatments, change needs to happen at three  levels:

Automation in processes

Automation may help infertility-specialized physicians to reduce the complexity and variability in the sets of procedures in the collection of processes. birtFrom giving patients the right ovarian stimulation protocols, determining the best ovarian follicle (vs empty follicles), and then collecting the eggs with minimal discomfort to the patient during the recovery procedure. An image-guided robot can also allow doctors to precisely implant the embryo, thus reducing outcome variability and errors.

Artificial Intelligence in Embryology

Embryologists play an important role in the different processes of infertility treatments. Embryologists get their training as an entry-level job in established laboratories under laboratory directors and it typically takes several years of training to reach a skill level equal to that of a top professional. This leads to an enormous amount of variability and human errors along the way, which have been demonstrated in various scientific research because there is no standardized training form. The limited availability of trained embryologists and reproductive embryologists adds greatly to the problem of accessibility. But since embryologists do almost everything manually, high-quality digital data is not collected. Here automation and Artificial Intelligence tools can play an important role in making embryology more consistent and reliable.

Artificial intelligence in pre-fertilization stages

In the last couple of years, there have been some attempts at automation. Embryo vitrification automation has awaited regulatory approvals and could bring consistency to the vitrification and thawing process. Attempts were made to use time-lapse systems and Artificial Intelligence techniques for embryo selection to annotate and analyze the morpho kinetics of embryos for better results. Although these are great systems and a meritorious point of start, they reduce the process variability of post-fertilization. Pre-fertilization stages are a large part where the inconsistency happens. Steps such as choosing the correct sperm or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection procedure have a great variation depending on different operators. Those steps should be taken by artificial intelligence and robotics to dramatically boost performance. 

It is clear from the above points that the only way forward to properly frame and build a good future of infertility treatments is the use of Artificial Intelligence to improve outcomes. 

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