In vitro fertilization, or IVF treatment is essentially the insemination of the female’s egg under lab conditions. During the critical first days, the embryos are raised in dedicated incubators, and are under constant embryologist surveillance. The expert will then determine which embryos are to be returned for further in-human incubation. “Currently,” said to Geektime, Embryonics Founder and CEO Yael Gold-Zamir, “The decision making is subjective, and is dependent on experience and intuition - a factor that changes between doctors and medical centers. Embryonics wide range of smart solutions simplifies complex processes with data-backed insight, aiming at optimizing quality and fertilizations rate success.” According to the company, traditional IVF methods have resulted in merely a 30% success rate in the U.S. alone, with global averages dropping even lower.
Embryonics’ AI algorithms were developed to help predict success of fertility and IVF treatments in women. Among other methods, the model was trained by watching ‘time-lapse’ videos of developing embryos as part of IVF treatment. The technology helped increase embryo-to-pregnancy success rate by 20% more than senior embryologists; in addition, the AI model was able to achieve 30% success increase in predicting which embryos won’t lead to a successful pregnancy. In reality, these results not only save people a lot of money, but also save an immense amount of heartache from unsuccessful fertilizations attempts, time and time again.
From test-tube babies to AI babies
Dr. Gold-Zamir explains that the company’s first commercial product, Ubar, which predicts healthy embryo candidates, is looking at CE clearance within the next few weeks, and FDA later this year: “Once regulatory approvals are in, we will start implementing the product in a number of Israeli medical centers that showed interest.”
Zamir added: “It’s a revolution. Traditional fertility treatments resulted in very low success rate. We are going to replace IVF test-tube babies with AI babies - a transition that will create a process that is shorter, cheaper, and less dangerous for millions of couples around the world.”
We are seeing a lot of Israeli startups, who expert in medical AI imaging analysis - like Zebra and AIDOC. Will the algorithm replace the radiologist, or embryologist, in the future?
Dr. Gold-Zamir: “Algorithms will take over some of the radiologist’s tasks, opening more time for physicians to take a deeper dice into patient care. But that’s further down the road. Currently, all the available tools aid and improve radiologist and doctors’ workflow and quality, with tools trained in millions of different sample sources - a database to large for humans to process.”
Embryonics was founded in 2018 by CEO Dr. Yael Gold-Zamir, and employs a team of 16 people in Haifa. Embryonics has raised previously raised a $4 million Pre-Seed round from Shuctermann Family Investment Office and the Israel Innovation Authority.