A.I. Could Play A Vital Role In Birth Of Tomorrow’s Children
Since the first “test-tube baby” was born in 1978, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) has been a surprising game changer when it helps people conceive. Although amazing as it is, its success rate is still around 30 percent. This means that seven out of ten attempts will fail. It can be highly taxable for parents not only financially but also mentally and physically. Can AI help improve those barriers and, in the process, play an important role in the birth of many babies of tomorrow?
According to investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, the answer appears to be a resounding “yes”. They are working on an intensive-learning AI that can help decide during which IVF round the fetus should be transferred.
Hadi Shafi, one of the lead researchers in the engineering department in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said, “The IVF process involves the conception of the egg and the culture of the fetus before it is transferred to the mother in a fertilized laboratory.” Digital Trends told. “A major challenge in the field is deciding on the fetus that needs to be transferred during IVF, such that the likelihood of a healthy birth is maximum and any complications for both mother and child are minimal. Currently, the tools available to embryologists when making such are extremely limited and expensive, and, thus, most embryologists need to make these life-changing decisions using only their observational skills and expertise. In such scenarios, their decision-making process is highly subjective and variable. “
The AI system used to analyze 742 embryos proved to be 90% accurate in the work of selecting the most high-quality embryos. It does this by evaluating images taken with microscopes used in breeding centers. Although researchers clarify that this will not be a replacement for human experts, it can help inform decisions that usually have to be evaluated manually. (It is also important to note that IVF does not fail only because of an improperly selected, non-optimal fetus, although it is considered a contributing factor.)
For the next step, Shafi said, “The most important obstacle for such [a] The system used in the clinic is conducting a prospective randomized clinical trial for system validation to pass regulatory requirements. “
A paper describing the work was recently published in the journal eLife.