Causes & Treatment

IVF news: Advances in AI, for hyper-personal egg quality assessment – the new gold standard?

Emma Harpham in partnership with Future Fertility  |   20 Nov 2023

It’s a given that egg quality plays a vital role in successful fertility treatment. And the latest in IVF news for 2023 tells us that AI is helping clinicians make leaps and bounds in providing faster, more accurate and super-personalized predictions for oocyte viability.

Leading the charge here are the team at Future Fertility. Their next-gen, evidence-based AI tech is world-first and lets clinics more accurately measure egg quality, a key missing piece in fertility treatment currently.

This technology enables you, as a patient, to get personalized reports on each egg’s quality and its likelihood of fertilizing and becoming a blastocyst – going way beyond the general age-based estimates that most clinics still rely on. Future Fertility’s VIOLET™ reports support egg freezing patients, while MAGENTA™ reports support patients going through IVF.

This is the kind of IVF news and fertility technology that we can get really excited about! So, we sat down with the team at Future Fertility to cover;

  • The existing standard for evaluating egg quality
  • AI fertility treatment advances
  • Questions about accuracy and reliability
  • Setting the new standard for patient-led care in 2024

Here’s how Future Fertility’s AI is helping to unlock egg quality, for both clinics and patients – heading into 2024.

In 2023, what’s the existing standard of care?

Traditionally, the standard for assessing egg quality has been purely based on age-based, average estimates

Dr. Dan Nayot, Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer at Future Fertility, and Practising Reproductive Endocrinologist & Infertility Specialist at The Reproductive Care Centre explains that each key component of the IVF process has a standardized evaluation approach to enable optimization for improved outcomes. “That goes for sperm, embryo and even the endometrium – but not the egg.” 

“Traditionally”, he says, “when patients freeze eggs or retrieve them for IVF, we have very little information about their quality.”

The current standard of care is to use the following;

  • Your age when you retrieved your eggs
  • The number of eggs you retrieved

This is what gives an estimate of your chances of success as a patient. But this is changing, and it’s changing fast.

What’s the problem with assessing egg quality in this way? 

“It’s somewhat helpful because at least it provides an estimate – but of course, it’s not personalized”, explains Dr. Nayot. “It assumes everyone of the same age has the same egg quality, and that each egg in a retrieval cohort has the same quality, which just isn’t correct.”

“Embryologists can currently determine which eggs are mature enough to be used in IVF, but they are unable to tell which is a high-quality versus a low-quality egg, based on their own visual assessment.”

Egg quality can vary in the same patient, even during the same cycle – so going beyond general estimates is essential.

AI reproductive technology

Where does AI reproductive technology come in?

Future Fertility’s AI tech works by looking at hundreds of thousands of egg images and outcomes to unlock details not visible to the human eye.

“The application of artificial intelligence to analyze the picture of that egg gives us this opportunity to personalize the prediction of whether this egg will become a blastocyst and ideally, eventually, a live birth.”, explains Dr. Nayot.

Is AI really more accurate than an embryologist?

There have been many attempts to create visual grading schemes for eggs, but this has been difficult to do as dysmorphisms (unexpected differences in how the egg looks to the human eye) are rare, and as such, these grading systems are highly subjective, time-consuming and poorly correlated with an egg’s reproductive potential. 

Future Fertility’s AI tools have been proven to outperform senior embryologists when predicting outcomes for eggs – by at least 20%.

“Compared to AI applications assessing embryos, which minimally improve over the current standard of care, this is the first time we can gain meaningful insights into egg quality”, explains Jullin Fjeldstad, Head of Embryology & Scientific Operations at Future Fertility. 

What are the benefits for early adopters of this kind of fertility technology? 

For egg freezing patients

The only information egg-freezing patients currently receive after their procedures is the number of mature eggs they’ve frozen. There’s no way to know how things could pan out. Future Fertility’s VIOLET™ reports give you this info, in patient-friendly plain English. 

Yulanda, egg-freezing patient, shared that her VIOLET™ report was a valuable part of her decision-making process. “I’m a data-driven person, so adding the VIOLET™ report was an additional data point that helped me decide how many egg-freezing cycles to pursue. It helped ease my mind that I did everything in my power to secure the best result for me.” 

For  IVF-ICSI patents

IVF-ICSI patients can, in many cases, undergo multiple cycles without the ability to pinpoint any potential egg-related factors impacting success, leaving important information out of their next cycle treatment planning.

Future Fertility’s MAGENTA™ reports help you understand how much your egg quality is contributing to the success of your IVF-ICSI cycles, enabling you and your fertility care team to choose tailored treatment options which could be more likely to lead to better outcomes.

fertility technology

What do we mean by being ‘patient-centred’ as we head into 2024?

As we step into 2024, we’re witnessing a real shift in the world of fertility technology, and it’s all about you – the patient. In our daily lives, we’ve become accustomed to personalized experiences, and we’re now expecting the same from our healthcare, especially when it comes to significant and costly treatments like IVF and egg freezing.

You deserve more than just a one-size-fits-all approach. You deserve care that is as unique as you are, taking into account your medical history and preferences. You deserve to be well-informed, so you can play an active role in shaping your fertility journey.  And lastly, you’ve spent a lot of money on this service, so it is reasonable to want more information about your own health and the impact it has on success.

In the coming year, Future Fertility’s AI-based egg quality reports will continue to redefine what it means to receive ‘patient-centered’ fertility care. These reports are already available in 60+ clinics in more than 20 countries, and that will continue to grow from here on out as more clinics adopt this new standard of care. For those considering egg freezing, you’ll no longer have to wonder about your chances of success; you’ll have clarity. If you’re undergoing IVF with ICSI, you’ll gain insights into how your egg quality influences your treatment, enabling you to collaborate with your care team to optimize your unique path to success.

What’s more, with the upcoming roll-out of Future Fertility’s new patient insights platform, MyFutureFertility™, you’ll have secure access to your egg quality reports for multiple cycles, whether it’s for egg freezing or IVF treatment. This platform equips you with the resources you need to make informed decisions, guiding you alongside your dedicated care team.

Ask your clinic about Future Fertility heading into 2024. Connect with the team to learn more today, download a sample report, and locate a clinic near you that’s already using their next-gen tech.

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