HomeA California Start-up Uses AI to Improve Fertility Care and Adapt It to Each Patient

A California Start-up Uses AI to Improve Fertility Care and Adapt It to Each Patient

Alife Health, the fertility technology company building artificial intelligence tools to advance in-vitro fertilization (IVF), announced March 22nd it has raised $22 million in Series A financing, the company aiming to get its fertility products to market and conduct clinical trials for treatments that are still in the pipeline.

The funding round was co-led by existing Seed lead Deena Shakir at Lux Capital, and new investors Rebecca Kaden at Union Square Ventures and Anarghya Vardhana at Maveron, both of whom will also be joining Alife’s Board of Directors.

AI in Healthcare Has a Huge Growing Potential

The role of artificial intelligence in healthcare has been a huge talking point recently and there’s no sign of the adoption of this technology slowing down, well, ever really.

AI in healthcare has huge and wide reaching potential with everything from mobile coaching solutions to drug discovery falling under the umbrella of what can be achieved with machine learning.

If healthcare adopts more artificial intelligence solutions software in research processes and drug development, the industry can greatly expand in the near future.

The global artificial intelligence market in healthcare is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 43.5% to reach USD 27.60 billion by 2025. Global leaders such as IBM, Microsoft, Apple, SAP, Intel, Google and others are expected to keep the reins of development.

But even small start-ups such as Alife have their very important role to play in the overall development of the healthcare system, actually impacting our future.

The San Francisco-based startup is using artificial intelligence to improve IVF fertility outcomes. Alife’s product, Stim Assist, helps physicians in making decisions during ovarian stimulations, which involve injecting drugs into the ovaries to cause them to generate mature eggs, which are then removed from the uterus, fertilized, and then reimplanted. The company’s AI uses pattern recognition to examine its vast dataset from top fertility clinics around the globe and find links between treatments and positive outcomes. It can then tell you which treatment options have resulted in the best results for previous IVF patients with comparable indications. Clinicians can use these findings to create a unique IVF treatment plan with their knowledge.

About 180 Million People Around the World Suffer From Infertility

Alife’s mission is to enhance IVF clinical decision making with personalized, data-driven patient insights, ultimately helping clinicians maximize each patient’s chances of success while lowering costs and barriers to access. Today, the 180 million people around the world who struggle with infertility face treatment options that are both expensive and inaccessible. 

The average IVF cycle can cost up to $25,000 in the U.S., and patients typically go through 3 to 5 cycles to have a baby. Successful pregnancies from IVF rely on a complex set of clinical decisions to deliver the optimal care for each patient. However, there is no unified technology platform working to optimize those decisions and improve the patient experience.

“Artificial intelligence has tremendous potential to impact the effectiveness and equity of fertility care,” says Paxton Maeder-York, CEO and Founder of Alife. “Our AI software uses one of the largest and most diverse IVF datasets in the world to analyze millions of data points from patient cycles and provide insights on what treatment has worked best for patients that are similar to you. Your fertility clinician can then use this report to craft a personalized, data-driven treatment plan. Our goal is to enhance clinicians’ expertise with machine learning, helping them to improve outcomes and hopefully one day make AI-powered fertility care accessible for everyone.”

The New Money Will Help the Company Bring Products to Market

With its new funding, Alife plans to bring its first two products to market and continue conducting clinical studies for a third product. Alife’s first medical product, Stim Assist, is used during the ovarian stimulation process, in which a patient receives an injection of medications to induce the ovaries to generate mature eggs. This stimulation allows clinicians to retrieve the eggs from the patient so they can be fertilized and implanted back into the uterus. Alife’s Stim Assist is an artificial intelligence tool built to provide clinicians with adjunctive information to support their decision-making as they attempt to retrieve the maximum number of mature eggs per cycle and reduce patient medication costs. Embryo Predict, Alife’s second product (currently investigational), is an AI platform that evaluates patient embryos and assists embryologists in deciding which ones to transfer. 

Alife is set to release its first patient product later this year. Upon conducting extensive interviews with past IVF patients, Alife identified the need to streamline and organize the IVF process. With Alife’s mobile app, patients will gain a comprehensive platform that includes educational resources and easy-to-use organizational tools for medication reminders, appointments, lab results, and more. The company’s third product, Embryo Predict, is an artificial intelligence tool that analyzes patient embryos and helps embryologists prioritize them for transfer. The technology is currently investigational.

The company’s mission is to increase clinicians’ machine learning skills, improve outcomes, and make AI-assisted fertility care accessible to everyone one day. Alife aims to establish a broad ecosystem of products to tailor IVF care and promote transparency for patients rather than a single solution for a single point in the IVF process.

“As someone closely impacted by a challenging fertility journey, I had been on the lookout for a company that is aiming to meaningfully move the needle in IVF: driving down cost, driving up quality, and overall having an ability to expand accessibility to this increasingly needed technology. Paxton and his team have the alchemy of an innovative model, clinical connections, and deep patient empathy to build something impactful in the space. I am excited to see Alife become a trusted resource for clinicians to revamp fertility care as we know it,” says Anarghya Vardhana, Partner at Maveron.

About Alife Health

Alife’s mission is to modernize and personalize the IVF process with cutting edge artificial intelligence technology to improve outcomes and care for all. The company has built a consortium of partnerships with the top clinics and most renowned physicians to bring significant clinical improvements to patients globally. Founded by Paxton Maeder-York in 2020, the company is based in San Francisco and backed by top tier venture capital investors including Lux Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Maveron.

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