Artificial Intelligence in IVF
Melbourne IVF, as part of the Virtus Health group, Australia’s leading fertility provider, has developed an artificial intelligence system, called Ivy, to predict the likelihood of a viable pregnancy from transfer of a single embryo in a woman undergoing IVF.
The Virtus Health group is the first provider of fertility treatment in Australia to use this form of artificial intelligence to analyse embryo growth.
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How will Ivy, Artificial Intelligence affect the IVF process?
Ivy can predict how likely an embryo is to develop as far as the stage of having a fetal heart and can thus help the embryologist to select the best embryo for transfer.
What is different from the current IVF process?
Currently, an embryologist uses a standard grading system to assess the appearance of each embryo under the microscope. Different systems had previously been proposed to refine this but, so far, none of them has significantly improved embryo selection.
Ivy artificial intelligence performs a comprehensive assessment of the growth of the embryos over all five days and then relates this data to whether a fetal heart has developed or not. By completely objective analysis of the images, Ivy has taught itself to identify the embryo with the greatest likelihood of developing as far as a fetal heart. The embryo with the highest score, and therefore the highest potential for leading to a viable fetus, can then be selected for transfer.
How did the Ivy Artificial Intelligence system teach itself?
Ivy can review a massive amount of data, far more than any human could ever process, including hundreds of images from each embryo . The growth patterns from these images are then related to whether each embryo developed into an ongoing pregnancy.
The predictive success of Ivy was tested by repeating the comparison against the outcomes of a separate group of embryos. The results showed a predictive value that is a significant improvement on any system that had previously been used in human embryology.
What are the potential benefits for patients?
The aim of this work is to select the right embryo more quickly so that women going through IVF can conceive more quickly and thus lessen the strain of IVF on them and their families.
When will artificial intelligence for embryo selection be available widely in IVF treatment?
In partnership with Vitrolife, Melbourne IVF is carrying out a rigorous assessment of the technology through a randomised controlled trial of artificial intelligence in embryo selection. As the pioneers of this groundbreaking technology for Virtus Health, Melbourne IVF's scientists will continue to oversee the project, taking it across all our Virtus sites.
We anticipate that artificial intelligence will be rolling out across our Melbourne IVF sites following the trial as part of our ongoing investment in the very highest standards of laboratory technology.