Artificial Intelligence in High-Quality Embryo Selection for IVF

Original article was published by Vikram Singh Bisen on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


IVF treatment is becoming a common practice in today’s reality, where 12% of the world population struggle to conceive naturally. But thanks to artificial intelligence in IVF, the whole process is going to help the embryologists to select the best quality embryos for in-vitro fertilization improving the success of conception through artificial insemination.

As per the latest study published in eLife, a deep learning system was able to choose the most high-quality embryos for IVF with 90% accuracy.

Compared to trained embryologists, the deep learning model performed with an accuracy of approximately 75% while the embryologists performed with an average accuracy of 67%.

As per the research stated, the average success rate of IVF is 30 percent. The treatment is also expensive, costing patients over $10,000 for each IVF cycle with many patients requiring multiple cycles in order to achieve successful pregnancy.

Risk Factors in IVF Treatment

While multiple factors determine the success of IVF cycles, the challenge of non-invasive selection of the highest available quality embryos from a patient remains one of the most important factors in achieving successful IVF outcomes.

Currently, tools available to embryologists are limited and expensive, leaving most embryologists to rely on their observational skills and expertise. As selection of quality embryo increases the pregnancy rates, that is now possible with AI.

Also Read: How Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Health Risk of Pregnancy

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) set out to develop an assistive tool that can evaluate images captured using microscopes traditionally available at fertility centers.

There is so much at stake for our patients with each IVF cycle. Embryologists make dozens of critical decisions that impact the success of a patient cycle.

With assistance from our AI system, embryologists will be able to select the embryo that will result in a successful pregnancy better than ever before,” said co-lead author Charles Bormann, PhD, MGH IVF Laboratory director.

AI in Embryo Selection through Machine Learning

The team trained the deep learning system (sub branch of machine learning) using images of embryos captured at 113 hours post-insemination. Among 742 embryos, the AI system was 90% accurate in choosing the most high-quality embryos.

AIVF’s deep learning and computer vision algorithms applied to time-lapse videos and stills of embryo development with proprietary markers and identifiers. Image Credit

The investigators further assessed the system’s ability to distinguish among high-quality embryos with the normal number of human chromosomes and compared the system’s performance to that of trained embryologists help in healthy baby growth in the womb.

Also Read: What Causes A Baby To Stop Growing In The Womb During Pregnancy

The results showed that the system was able to differentiate and identify embryos with the highest potential for success significantly better than 15 experienced embryologists from five different fertility centers across the US.

However, the deep learning system is meant to act only as an assistive tool for embryologists to make judgments during embryo selection but going to benefit clinical embryologists and patients.

Actually, a major challenge in the field is deciding on the embryos that need to be transferred during IVF and such AI models can make right decisions.

Machine Learning Training Data for AI Model

The research stated that deep learning model has potential to outperform human clinicians, if algorithms are trained with more qualitative healthcare training datasets.

Advances in AI have promoted numerous applications that have the potential to improve standard-of-care in the different fields of medicine.

Though, few other groups use to evaluate different use cases for machine learning in assisted reproductive medicine, this approach is novel in how it used a deep learning system trained on a large dataset to make predictions based on static images.

Such innovative findings could help the couples become parents through IVF with higher chances of conceptions with right embryos selections.

And further with more improvement in training development of AI systems will be used in aiding embryologists to select the embryo with the highest implantation potential, especially amongst high-quality embryos.

Watch Video: Future of AI in Embryo Selection for IVF

Also Read: Why Global Fertility Rates are Dropping; Population Will Fall by 2100.

This article was also featured at www.vsinghbisen.com

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