Below is our recent interview with Paxton Maeder-York, the Founder and CEO at Alife Health:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Alife?
A: Alife Health is a company building artificial intelligence tools to improve in vitro fertilization (IVF). 180 million people globally are struggling with infertility, which is growing at an alarming rate. Successful pregnancies from IVF, which is extremely costly and can have low success rates, rely on a complex set of clinical decisions made by physicians to deliver the optimal care for each patient. Alife Health builds software with artificial intelligence to enhance clinical decision making for personalized treatment recommendations, helping doctors maximize a patient’s chances of success while lowering costs.
Q: What’s your mission?
A: Alife Health’s mission is to help people have healthy children.
Q: How can you help physicians to increase a patient’s chances of pregnancy success?
A: Alife Health is creating software both for the clinicians, as well as for the patients, to deliver personalized care at every step of the IVF process. The amazing thing about machine learning is that it can incorporate lessons from hundreds of thousands of cases from all over the world to enhance its ability to create customized treatment recommendations. This can be a huge asset to physicians and patients. Alife’s technology doesn’t replace clinical judgement made by the amazing doctors working in this field, it’s meant to be another tool for them to use to improve efficacy.
Today, the IVF process is very manual and differs greatly from clinic to clinic. This diversity is actually an asset to the field because what one clinic in one part of the country does may be better for some patients, and the protocols at a different clinic in another part of the country might be best for another group of patients. The problem is how to disperse these learnings and deliver them as a tool back to clinicians, and this is exactly what AI can do. It can look at hundreds of thousands of patient experiences and find patterns so that when a new patient comes in for care, we can leverage the learnings from all those previous cases and clinical practices to optimize their chances of success.
One example of that is the prioritization of transferable embryos. Using pattern recognition, our software can reference our large, diverse data set and make a recommendation to the clinician on which embryos will be the most successful for that particular patient. (We have built a consortium of the largest and leading clinics around the U.S. and internationally to create a substantial and very diverse data set of prior cases, their treatment, and their outcomes.) However, this is just one piece of a broader ecosystem of products to personalize IVF care and promote transparency for the patient across their journey.
Q: You’ve recently raised $9.5 Million in Seed funding; can you tell us something more?
A: This $9.5M seed round will help push Alife Health to the next stage. The last year has been spent on understanding how exactly to implement the technology, building a team of world class engineers and data scientists, forming relationships with the clinics to collect the data, and recruiting an advisory board of leading clinicians. This money will help us complete product development, get regulatory approval, and begin making it accessible for as many patients as possible.