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Behind the Investment- AIVF

Alexandra Lundin, Logan Friedman, Scott Barclay | November 07, 2022| 2 min. read

IVF is a challenging process from start to finish. Embryologists must make pivotal decisions at each step in the process – sperm, egg, and embryo selection, incubation timing, when and for how long to freeze embryos, and many more. Each of these steps represents a potential point of failure in the process, and those choices, combined with other uncontrollable human and external factors, result in an estimated aggregate failure rate for each IVF cycle of about 70%.

Then there are the families. Patients lack visibility and ask at each step, “What exactly is happening?” only to receive vague answers. They feel left in the dark during one of the most important events in their lives. On top of this uncertainty, IVF is expensive. Each cycle costs thousands of dollars or more, creating a huge financial burden on patients, who sometimes must go through 3 or more cycles before achieving a successful pregnancy.

That is today.

Enter AiVF – a special company and founding team pioneering the concept of “computational embryology” to create the next generation operating system for IVF. AiVF is first to market, combining AI with clinical workflow software to create an end-to-end platform that: 1) improves IVF outcomes by supporting embryologists at critical decision points, 2) enables better, faster workflow and collaboration across the clinic, and 3) enables management to monitor clinic performance and implement improvements more effectively, all while providing patients with greater visibility throughout the process. They are starting with AI decision support for two of the highest-impact parts of the IVF cycle – embryo evaluation and preimplantation genetic testing – with plans to continue adding new algorithms over time.

Uncertainty throughout the healthcare ecosystem has led to an explosion of similar vertically applied AI products in recent years, driven by advancements in computer vision and healthcare data tracking that have enabled better and more robust model training than previously possible. This innovation is occurring across healthcare sectors, and we’ve partnered with companies building AI solutions for brain scans, gastrointestinal screening, dental care, mammograms, and others as part of our Computational Care thesis. Today’s low per-cycle success rate suggests that the IVF market is similarly ripe for these emerging technologies.

These solutions drive substantial clinical ROI from not only time and resource savings, but also, most importantly, meaningfully improved outcomes and experiences for patients. 

While clinical AI can be extremely valuable, there are limitations. Pure-play AI platforms are not always defensible in the long run, because their competitive advantage is primarily linked to the size and quality of the datasets used to train them. We believe that the most impactful businesses will create much more than algorithms, and instead will weave next generation technology into essential workflows to create a true support system for users every step of the way. We see a world in which AI will never replace clinical experts, but rather will augment their capabilities and extend their reach, enabling them to deliver care more efficiently and effectively to more patients than ever before. This is what made AiVF stand out in the market.

In an industry where demand far outweighs supply and access, AiVF is empowering more successful outcomes while also enabling greater patient throughput. In addition to their clinically validated AI, AiVF has also created workflow tooling that connects directly to EMRs and time-lapse incubation systems to automatically capture data, update patient records, and measure clinic and embryologist performance KPIs. Their end goal is to equip every embryologist with the tools to perform at par with the best in the industry, and a platform that enables even the world’s top clinics to operate with unprecedented efficiency.

This vision to bring together AI and clinical workflow software, combined with an outstanding founding team capable of bringing the vision to life, gave us strong conviction to partner with AiVF as the IVF technology platform of the future. Founders Daniella Gilboa and Professor Daniel Seidman each have over 15 years of industry experience, and they bring the right values paired with a deep understanding of the challenges IVF clinics face at every stage of the clinical process. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them and the entire AiVF team early in their journey as they aim to solve these challenges and create a world where software and compute, plus empathy with the use case and the family, enable IVF to be more successful and accessible for all.