In vitro fertilization, also known as IVF, has helped many couples struggling to have children to conceive. Assisted reproductive technologies of any kind have been used to help women since 1981. And as technology has progressed, so have these treatments.
IVF entails fertilizing a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm in a laboratory dish. It's then placed back in the uterus. Currently over 60,000 women each year have babies as a result of this treatment. Now, a new device will help make this process a little easier.
The Embryoscope is a device that combines an incubator and a camera all in one. It takes photos every 10 to 15 minutes and creates a time-lapse video for the embryologist to use when tracking and picking the best embryo to implant into a uterus.
"I think this is the most exciting breakthrough since IVF started," said Dr. Simon Fishel, managing director of the UK's CARE Fertility center, responsible for the first Embryoscope baby born in the UK in 2012 (as well as the first ever IVF baby back in 1978), CNN reported.
This technology is important because it will save time and money for both the patient and the doctor. "We have a predictive scale (for evaluating) the likelihood of an embryo to give the best chance of a live birth," Fishel said. "It's a complex procedure and it uses very complex technology and some mathematics. But using this whole process, it really changes the way the embryologists work in the lab. And I think it's changing the face of how we do IVF, in fact."