Scientists have discovered that an Artificial Intelligence machine, when shown images of hundreds of embryos, can predict which will result in live birth with an unprecedented accuracy rate of 85%. Not only would it reduce the risk of damaging the embryo as microscopic inspection is not needed, but it could also increase the percentage of women able to have a baby through IVF.
Their papers included information on how this technology could dramatically lower the risk of complications (70% of which are caused by embryo abnormalities). Currently, doctors are implanting multiple embryos to maximise the chance of fertilisation, which poses the risk of initiating preterm birth, preeclampsia, and many other costly and painful childbirth complications.
How would this work?
|Figure 2, Embryologists are tasked with assessing embryo states|
The power of this technology extends beyond percentage success rates. Its use has the ability to prevent agonising distress. Around half of all miscarriages that occur in IVF patients are caused by an abnormal number of chromosomes in the embryo. Having the ability to select the best embryos for tranfer is considered the key to IVF success.
To elaborate, by having a more accurate analysis of results, doctors will be able to give more reliable information to patients seeking treatment. If an embryo is not developing successfully, they will be able to tell patients straight away, rather than extending a costly and emotional process.
As we have seen, AI´s capabilities extend much farther than data anlysis and robotics. This is a monumental shift into the world of medicine for AI and with rapid advances expected, the future of a human-AI collborative medicial team looks more than promising.
Written by Lucy Beardsley