Toronto-based start-up Future Fertility has appointed Brian Wu as its CFO as the company focuses on global commercialisation of its AI-powered oocyte assessment tools.
Future Fertility develops AI-powered tools to support the fertility journey, with a focus on the oocyte – the human egg.
As the first company to develop a standardised, personalised AI-based assessment for oocyte quality, Future Fertility is rapidly growing its presence globally, by partnering with clinics and researchers to roll out the technology in the field.
Brian Wu brings more than a decade of financial expertise to the CFO role and has spent the past five years working directly with start-ups to fundraise and scale their operations.
Most recently, as the VP Finance at Maple Corporation, a leading Canadian virtual care company, he helped the company raise close to CAD$90m in financing during his tenure.
Prior to entering the start-up ecosystem, Wu worked as a banker and consultant at CIBC and KPMG.
He joins a multi-disciplinary leadership team at Future Fertility, which includes experts in reproductive endocrinology, embryology, clinical research and data science.
“As we are already live in over eight countries, scaling our operations to further support our growth ambitions will be critical to our success” says Christy Prada, Future Fertility CEO.
“Brian brings a unique mix of operational experience, financial rigour and a strategic growth mindset which is unique in a financial leader.
“He will be invaluable to our team as we embark on our next stage of growth. We’re so happy to have him on board.”
Wu said: “I’m very excited to join the incredibly talented team at Future Fertility.
“They’ve established themselves as the first-movers and leaders in egg quality assessment through their combined expertise in reproductive medicine and machine learning, and now I look forward to helping the team scale so that more families and would-be families can have access to personalised fertility insights through Future Fertility’s suite of innovations to empower their decision-making.”
Wu holds a Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management Degree, as well as a Master of Accounting Degree from the University of Waterloo and is a CPA and CFA charterholder.
He also brought his passion for helping entrepreneurs to the classroom as a co-founder and lecturer for the University of Waterloo’s masters-level Start-up Finance course.
Next Fertility selects Fairtility’s AI decision support tool for network clinics across Spain
Fairtility’s CHLOE tool will automate and standardise data collection and analysis processes and streamline workflows
Fairtility, the transparent AI innovator powering reproductive care for improved outcomes, has announced that Next Fertility, part of the international group Next Clinics, has chosen to implement its AI decision support technology across fertility clinics in Spain.
Following a successful trial period, Next Fertility elected to expand its implementation of Fairtility’s technology, from one clinic – Next Fertility Murcia, across all seven group clinics in Spain.
By extending the use of CHLOE across all clinics, Next Fertility is looking to streamline operations and provide a standardised approach to fertility treatment while also improving the patient experience.
Next Fertility clinics in Murcia, Valencia, Sevilla, Madrid, Huelva, Burgos and Vitoria will all utilise CHLOE EQ to support embryo quality assessment in labs.
Software-based, CHLOE integrates with the leading Time Lapse Incubator (TLI) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) platforms, enabling clinics to gain the benefits of full digitalisation of the lab with a unified data and insights-hub.
By interconnecting the various systems in labs across the Next Fertility network in Spain, CHLOE will automate and standardise data collection and analysis processes and streamline workflows for maximum efficiency across network clinics.
These capabilities are designed to automate workflows and complement clinical decision-making, with the final judgment resting in the hands of medical experts.
Efficiencies created by CHLOE have demonstrated a 30-50 per cent reduction in embryology hours per cycle, enabling fertility clinics to increase capacity and support more prospective parents in their family building journey.
“Patient satisfaction and the quality of care we provide is what drives us and what sets us apart from other clinics,” said Adriano Carbone, Southern Europe regional manager at Next Clinics.
“We achieve this through our committed staff and by bringing state of the art technology that supports our vision. This is where CHLOE plays a major role.”
A recent survey with Next Fertility patients showed how CHLOE, when integrated into the patient journey, positively contributed to the patient experience through more engaging and transparent communication with the care team, real-time access to their embryos via a livestream and an increased feeling of empowerment through their journey.
Eran Eshed, co-founder and CEO of Fairtility, said: “Next Fertility is at the forefront of transforming reproductive care, serving as a leader to the market, not only is Spain, but globally.
“We’ve invested the time developing our technology to ensure cohesive and efficient integration across the IVF labs’ systems. This is aligned with our efforts to bring transparency to the entire reproductive care journey.”
He added: “Transparency is essential for responsible AI development, especially when it intersects with human life.”
CHLOE EQ for embryo viability assessment, focuses on analysing embryonic development data and imagery designed to facilitate decision-making in the assisted reproduction laboratory.
Developed using an extensive database of embryos, CHLOE EQ detects and analyses subtle visual, morphological, morphokinetic and developmental attributes of each embryo and relates them to its implantation capacity.
With this tool, Next Fertility embryologists gain a technological assistant that makes it easier for them to choose the best embryos for transfer to the uterus, reducing the subjectivity intrinsic to any human decision.
Next Fertility is part of Next Clinics and is one of Europe’s largest reproductive care networks with clinics across eight countries with 22 IVF clinics and seven diagnostics laboratories operating across the network.
By implementing CHLOE across seven clinics in Spain, the group is further strengthening its position as the most technologically advanced reproductive care provider in Europe while assessing the suitability of the technology to serve additional clinics across its network.
US fertility clinic introduces ‘AI-powered’ embryo selection tool
Reach Fertility has added Caremaps-AI as part of its service for all IVF patients
The US fertility practice Reach has introduced an ‘AI-powered’ embryo selection tool as part of its service for all IVF patients.
Reach, a fertility treatment and research practice based in North Carolina, announced last year a partnership with the UK-based fertility clinic Care Fertility.
As part of the collaboration, the company has joined a research-focused fertility network with access to advanced reproductive science technology.
Caremaps-AI, the time-lapse imaging technique developed by Care Fertility, aims to assist embryologists in choosing the embryo with the most potential without the need for genetic testing.
To capture images of the embryos, Reach will use the Embryoscope time lapse incubator, made by Vitrolife. The device has an integrated camera system that takes images in up to 11 focal planes, every 10 minutes, from the moment of fertilisation to the time the embryo is ready for transfer or ready to be cryogenically stored.
These images combined with AI analysis, are hoped to remove human subjectivity from embryo assessment and allow embryologists to select the embryo with the highest chance of becoming a healthy baby.
“This technology has direct impacts on patient treatment,” said Jennifer Patrick, lab director for Reach Fertility.
“By increasing the reliability of the embryo selection process and the accuracy of predictions, we can ensure patients are given their best chance of having a child.”
Patrick Mc Phillips, executive director at Reach Fertility, said: “Our partnership with Care Fertility has afforded us these kinds of breakthrough opportunities and we are thrilled to be able to offer them to our patients.
“Reach is proud to expand its services, ensuring those who want to grow or start their families have access to resources that increase their likelihood of doing so.
He added: “Our patients will continue to receive exceptional medical care and now with Caremaps-AI they will gain access to a higher level of reproductive technology, giving them an even higher chance at success.”
Thousands of Brits seek IVF alternatives to get pregnant, survey finds
The findings come amid fresh scrutiny of the significant inequalities in access to IVF
Thousands of Brits are turning away from IVF to seek alternative fertility treatments, a new survey has shown.
The research, carried out by Béa Fertility, surveyed over 4,000 UK adults who are currently trying or struggling to conceive and are open to exploring new treatment options.
The survey found that 46 per cent of respondents are actively “looking for something new to try” on their fertility journey, with more than half (51 per cent) wanting to have access to treatments they can carry out at home. Two-fifths of the people surveyed said they wanted access to cheaper fertility treatment options.
In the UK, a single round of IVF can cost up to and above £5,000. Other treatments, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) also carry a high fee, and clinical consultation and support can pose additional costs.
More than half of respondents had already been trying to conceive for more than two years before exploring new treatment options. Two-fifths had undergone fertility investigations on the NHS and more than one in ten (14 per cent) had tried IVF.
When asked why they were considering different methods or treatments, one-third cited looking for an option that meant they didn’t have to join a waitlist.
Others reported having been excluded from treatments on the NHS, with some failing restrictive eligibility criteria for reasons including their age and BMI.
The findings come amid fresh scrutiny of the significant inequalities in access to IVF, and advancements in new care alternatives.
Access to traditional treatments such as IVF and IUI is particularly inhibitive for minority groups including single parents, LGBTQ+ couples and those experiencing secondary infertility.
Same-sex female couples are currently required to self-fund at least six rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) before they can qualify for IVF on the NHS. Heterosexual couples have to have been trying to conceive naturally for two years to reach the same threshold.
“As a GP, I see countless patients struggling to navigate their fertility treatment and care options,” said Dr Hannah Allen, NHS GP and m
“It’s often equally difficult for us as doctors to help these patients to access the right support, thanks to growing pressure on resources and lengthy wait times for care. It’s not a surprise, therefore, that many fertility patients are seeking alternative treatment options.
“We need to make sure these alternatives are safe and can provide the necessary level of wraparound support to help patients achieve a healthy pregnancy. As these treatments become increasingly popular, doctors must also be prepared to help guide patients in navigating and choosing the best option for them, and supporting them to use it safely.”
Tess Cosad, co-founder and CEO at Béa Fertility, said: “While up to one in six of us will experience problems with our fertility, seeking effective and affordable treatment in the UK remains a minefield for many.
“Inhibitive costs, lengthy wait lists and an NHS postcode lottery are making traditional treatments like IVF increasingly difficult to access.
“Around 55,000 people in the UK underwent IVF or donor insemination in 2021, according to the HFEA – yet three and a half million people are estimated to be struggling with fertility across the country.
“We desperately need safe and effective alternative treatments for those struggling to access IVF, or for when it’s not a viable option.”
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