IVF outcomes improved

Tuesday 4th July 2017
AI Life Whisperer partners with Monash IVF and Repromed to improve IVF outcomes

The Australian start-up Life Whisperer has announced a partnership with the Monash IVF Group and its subsidiary Repromed to apply its unique AI (artificial intelligence) technology in the selection of healthy embryos. The commercial agreement with Monash IVF and Repromed will give Life Whisperer access to thousands of images and embryologist expertise. These will be used to validate Life Whisperer’s innovative technology for non-invasive AI-driven embryo image analysis and embryo selection.

The ultimate goal, says (left) Professor Michelle Lane, Science and Innovation Manager, Monash IVF Group, is to improve outcomes for IVF couples. “The technology, when scientifically validated, will assist our scientists to select viable embryos for implantation, and ultimately increase birth outcomes for our patients,” she says.  Repromed General Manager, Dr Hamish Hamilton,(right)  said: “Repromed is always innovating and using cutting edge technologies that are evidence based to ensure we provide our patients the greatest chances of successfully having children.”

Life Whisperer co-founder and inventor Dr Jonathan Hall is a University of Adelaide physics PhD graduate. Dr Hall conceived the Life Whisperer idea and entered it into the 2016 Australian eChallenge program run by the Entrepreneurship, Commercialization and Innovation Centre (ECIC) at the University of Adelaide. The team won both the best Medical Innovation and Research Commercialization awards. Soon after, Dr Hall founded Life Whisperer with two other technology start-up veterans,a husband and wife team who boast a successful exit of advanced AI predictive analytics firm ISD Analytics to Ernst & Young in 2015. 

Dr Michelle Perugini has significant experience in stem cell biology and commercializing advanced AI technology, while Dr Don Perugini has a background as a Defence scientist working in advanced AI technologies. The Peruginis are also founders of Presagen, which applies behavioral AI technology to automate complex human-centric tasks in businesses. The synergy and shared vision of the two businesses provides a sound platform on which to springboard the success of Life Whisperer.

“With infertility rates growing globally, the industry is crying out for technologies that can improve the successful outcomes for couples wanting to have children,” Dr Michelle Perugini said. “Life Whisperer aims to help those couples by applying the state of the art computer science and AI technology to give clinics the best possible edge in selecting the best embryo for IVF.”

In the past month, Life Whisperer has won two State iAwards from the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) including Start-up of the Year, and Big Data/Machine Learning Innovation of the Year.  Life Whisperer anticipates that following validation, the technology will be delivered to clinics around the world via a web-based application. 

“Scientists currently take images of embryos and visually assess their viability,” Dr Michelle Perugini said.  “Our evidence-based approach will allow the embryologist to drag and drop that image into a web based portal, and receive an assessment of the viability of the embryo to support their decision of which embryo to implant. 

“The Monash IVF and Repromed partnership is an important milestone on Life Whisperers journey to commercialise the technology globally.”

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