Home PublicationsData Innovators 5 Q’s for Daniella Gilboa, co-founder and CEO of AIVF

5 Q’s for Daniella Gilboa, co-founder and CEO of AIVF

by Becca Trate

The Center for Data Innovation spoke with Daniella Gilboa, co-founder and CEO of AIVF. AIVF is a Tel Aviv-based startup that uses AI to optimize in vitro fertilization and increase success rates for IVF pregnancies. Gilboa spoke about her passion for embryology, ethical concerns in AI-enabled health care, and the role of technology in advancing the IVF industry.

Becca Trate: What was your motivation for starting AIVF?

Daniella Gilboa: IVF began nearly 50 years ago, but progress in optimizing the fertility journey has not matched the pace of technological innovations. Recognizing this gap, AIVF leads the charge in revolutionizing the fertility journey by integrating artificial intelligence to enhance success rates, accessibility, and affordability of reproductive technologies. With global statistics showing one in six adults facing infertility, there is a critical need for intelligent solutions that help clinicians and embryologists select the most viable embryos. This approach addresses the growing demand for assisted reproductive technologies (ART) with more knowledge and transparency for everyone involved.

During my Ph.D. dissertation writing, I received the suggestion that my thesis could become a startup. Transitioning from an embryologist to the CEO of AIVF was a significant career shift, driven by my desire to impact broadly by blending my embryology expertise with my ability to solve complex problems through data analysis.

This dual role enables me to direct my passion for reproductive science toward leading IVF technology innovations, aiming to overcome the challenges of inefficiency, high costs, and inaccessibility plaguing current fertility treatments. I envision AIVF redefining the fertility care landscape to create more successful and widely accessible pathways, fulfilling the desires of countless individuals and couples wishing to build their families. In this endeavor, my commitment to helping bring children into the world remains strong, driven by a deep sense of responsibility to introduce the next generation of IVF technology to clinicians, embryologists, and most importantly, patients.

Trate: Can you explain how AI is used in IVF and the technology behind the platform?

Gilboa: EMA by AIVF is an AI-powered platform tailored to each clinic. The digital workspace connects the entire care team to automated AI-based embryo evaluation, streamlined communications, and powerful analytics tools. We trained and validated our models on a diverse database of thousands of embryos with known clinical pregnancy outcomes. This capability allows the tool to surpass human vision, processing the necessary information instantly. EMA’s AI-powered embryo evaluation relies on deep-learning algorithms that assess embryo quality and developmental competence, using models trained on a vast dataset of embryos.

Artificial intelligence enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of IVF treatments. We actively collaborate with embryologists, viewing AI as a supportive tool that enhances rather than replaces their expertise.

Our EMA platform marks a significant advancement in in vitro fertilization (IVF). Emphasizing collaboration with embryologists, we see AI as an augmentation of their skills. The platform has significantly benefited over 10,000 IVF patients. It has improved embryologists’ accuracy by 38 percent, reduced the time to pregnancy by 20 percent, and increased processing speed by 30 times compared to solo embryologist efforts. Additionally, embryos rated highly by EMA have demonstrated a 60 percent success rate, leading to more than 5,500 successful pregnancies.

Trate: What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in integrating AI with IVF care?

Gilboa: Integrating AI with IVF care presents several challenges, including data quality, interpretability, regulatory compliance, clinician adoption, and patient engagement. AIVF addressed these challenges by collaborating with IVF clinics for data access, developing transparent AI models, obtaining regulatory approvals, customizing solutions for clinicians’ workflow, and providing patient education resources. Through proactive measures and collaboration, we’ve successfully integrated AI into IVF care, enhancing treatment outcomes while upholding ethical standards.

Trate: How do you address ethical concerns that arise with the use of AI in reproductive healthcare?

Gilboa: Addressing ethical concerns is crucial in developing and deploying AI in reproductive healthcare. At AIVF, we proactively ensure our technology is ethically sound and meets the highest standards of patient care. Our approach centers on transparency and accountability regarding the workings of AI algorithms and their data usage. We also prioritize informed consent, enabling patients to understand AI’s role in their treatment plans and make knowledgeable decisions about their care.

We adhere to strict data privacy and security protocols to protect patient information. We follow regulations and industry best practices to guard sensitive data against unauthorized access or misuse.

Concerns about bias in AI models also demand attention. A lack of diversity in AI development teams can result in biased AI models, algorithms, and technologies. Employing a more diverse workforce in AI development increases the chances of identifying and correcting biases, thus promoting fairness and ethical considerations. We actively seek to mitigate biases in our AI algorithms, recognizing their potential impact on patient care. We regularly audit and evaluate our algorithms to detect and correct biases, ensuring fairness and equity in treatment recommendations.

Furthermore, we continuously monitor and evaluate our AI technology’s performance to gauge its impact on patient outcomes and pinpoint any potential ethical concerns. We welcome feedback from clinicians, patients, and stakeholders and adjust our practices to tackle emerging ethical issues.

By emphasizing transparency, informed consent, data privacy, bias mitigation, continuous monitoring, and ethics committee oversight, we aim to address ethical concerns and maintain patients’ and clinicians’ trust and confidence in using AI in reproductive care.

Trate: What does the future look like for AIVF?

Gilboa: Looking towards the future of embryology, several promising developments capture our attention. Foremost among these, the potential application of CRISPR and gene-editing technologies stands out, offering the prospect of correcting genetic anomalies in embryos. However, these advancements come with ethical and regulatory considerations that demand careful examination and refinement.

In line with these advancements, integrating artificial intelligence into embryo selection marks a significant leap forward. AIVF, as a pioneer in this field, commits to enhancing success rates in IVF procedures through advanced AI solutions. By leveraging AI technology, we aim to equip patients, clinics, and laboratories with the tools to navigate the IVF journey with greater certainty and efficiency.

Furthermore, the ongoing development of non-invasive embryo monitoring techniques promises safer and more efficient IVF treatments. AIVF remains dedicated to staying at the forefront of these emerging trends, continuously refining our AI-driven solutions to meet the evolving needs of the fertility care landscape.

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