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Doctors and would-be parents receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF) will soon have access to a new app to monitor the growth of embryos in a lab, according the Wall Street Journal. Typically, once IVF begins, a five-day incubation process is required for fertilized eggs. The app – still nameless – would allow parents to monitor the progress of the zygote.
“Five days was a long time to wait. You don’t have that much contact with your clinic, so you spend the whole time wondering what might be going on,” said Jo Masters, a 41-year-old from Sydney whose son was born through IVF two years ago.
The app will enable more efficient approaches to boosting the quality of the embryos and successful implantation. The technology is an example of innovation in the global IVF industry, earmarked for $14 billion in the year 2020.
Made by Sydney, Australia-based firm Genea, the app will offers a suite of products to IVF clinics including GAVI, the world’s first device for snap-freezing human eggs and embryos for later use. The company also offers GERI, an incubator for fertilized eggs that uses time-lapse photography to eliminate the removal of the egg for inspection.
“IVF has been somewhat of a black box in the past in that you wait for a phone call at the end of the week to see how your embryos are developing. Being able to have some more hands-on feeling in the process is very unique. I don’t think people should be restricted from that,” said Kim Gilliam, general manager of Genea’s research-and-development arm.
The first IVF baby was born in 1978, and now there are 4,000 clinics worldwide helping an estimated 350,000 such babies born each year. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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