- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Mar 20 2017
Using Data to Take the Guesswork Out of Getting Pregnant
IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO: Rita and Dennis are trying to have a baby. Rita is 41. Dennis is 39. They’ve been trying to conceive naturally for 15 months and have had one miscarriage.
Based on those data points, and others—Rita’s body mass index, Dennis’s sperm count, and various hormone levels—when Rita and Dennis finally decide to seek fertility treatment, their physician will tell them that, based on the numbers, they have about a 2 percent chance of having a baby naturally, an 8 percent chance with the assistance of fertility injections, and a 24 percent chance if they consider in vitro fertilization.
In other words, they will hear that at best, their chances are slim.
What they won’t hear, says Dr. Piraye Beim, a molecular biologist by training, is the fact that after four cycles of treatment, their chance of getting pregnant with fertility injections shoots up to 26 percent, or that their chance of getting pregnant with IVF increases to 58 percent, or that, if they go through IVF with donor eggs, which is, albeit, not the easiest decision, their likelihood of getting pregnant is around 92 percent. And the reason they won’t hear it is because their doctor has no real way of proving it, at least, not precisely. Which is why Beim, who is CEO of the New York City biotech firm Celmatix, has been working on building a tool called Polaris that can prove it for them.
‘We should be giving women tools to proactively manage their fertility from a young age. It shouldn’t be a reactive thing.
Polaris allows fertility specialists to compare a patient’s personal fertility metrics to a database of hundreds of thousands of other patients’ data. It then uses predictive analytics to calculate a patient’s most likely outcomes, based on other patients in the database who are just like her. Currently in use at 10 clinics nationwide, Polaris can predict a woman’s likelihood of getting pregnant, how that likelihood will change over time, the risk of multiple births, and other outcomes.
“It’s about giving people better clarity. Not perfect clarity,” Beim says, “but better, to help them make tough decisions.”
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