Adelaide startup achieving global results for improved patient outcomess
TechInSA grant recipient, Life Whisperer, together with US-based Ovation Fertility™, has announced the results of a collaborative study indicating that artificial intelligence (AI) technology can evaluate embryo quality more accurately than standard morphological grading methods.
The study showed a 50 per cent improvement in the prediction of successful implantation by AI technology, compared to highly skilled embryologists, and is the first study in the US to successfully apply AI by deep learning through computer vision to embryo selection.
“This is a fantastic outcome for our technology that helps pave the way for Life Whisperer’s anticipated entry to the US market early next year,” said recently awarded InDaily 40 under 40 recipient, Dr Michelle Perugini, Chief Executive Officer of Life Whisperer.
The company has had its sights on the global IVF market from inception.
“What our specialised team has created in Life Whisperer is a globally scalable product. In a year and a half, we have taken a mere concept right through to clinical studies in global markets, and close to market release. This has been an amazingly fast and successful journey that has been supported by the South Australian Government and TechInSA, as well as our most recent US partnership,” Dr Perugini said. “Paramount to this success is the drive of the team and our firm strategic outlook to make Life Whisperer a global product from day one.”
The Adelaide-based company grew out of the University of Adelaide’s eChallenge program and has developed the concept to a technology that has the potential to offer significant cost savings for patients and help improve pregnancy success.
Life Whisperer was awarded a $250,000 state government grant through TechInSA to help develop, validate and commercialise the technology.
The results suggest that AI may be a valuable tool to accurately detect genetic defects in human embryos. In this study, Life Whisperer’s new AI technology was used to evaluate thousands of 2D static images of embryos created through past IVF cycles at Ovation Fertility IVF laboratories. While preliminary data from this study is convincing, additional validation with larger data sets is ongoing.
Life Whisperer plans to make its AI technology widely available in 2019.