This week IVF London, one of our partner clinics, shared the news that it had taken delivery of a new embryoscope with built-in AI. This type of technology assists embryologists to select the best embryos for IVF – which may improve the likelihood of pregnancy.
Cutting-edge technology which supports clinical excellence is one of the attributes we look for when selecting clinics to become Fertifa partners – there’s a clear link between best-in-class medical care, a better patient experience and better clinical outcomes.
But what role can technology play in fertility treatment throughout a patient’s entire journey? And why is it so crucial now?
Tech-enabled care from beginning to end
The past year has shown the power of technology in keeping us connected and in offering remote or virtual services. During the first lockdown, fertility clinics closed and treatments were cancelled or postponed, leaving patients with an agonising wait ahead of them. But the demand for telemedicine exploded as patients and doctors opted to avoid face-to-face contact and busy waiting rooms.
A recent survey of US patients found that 81% would choose telemedicine for their next consultation If given the option and 96% would find it useful if their doctor or insurance company provided medical equipment to ensure a more productive telemedicine appointment. (i.e. blood pressure, temperature, etc., to provide vital readings during the session).
We will always need in-clinic, human contact for specific procedures (such as egg collection and embryo transfers), but this is also a time where technology can really come into its own to support patients’ individual journeys. For reproductive health, finger-prick hormone testing kits and sperm screening can be carried out quickly and easily at home. Follow-up consultations are a click away on secure video apps. Drugs can be prescribed and delivered direct to the patient’s home, where monitoring and support from specialist advisors are just a tap away – 7 days a week.
So what does the future hold?
Before Covid-19, these uses of technology were just starting to take off as employers and individuals recognised the time-saving and productivity-boosting benefits – not to mention the positive impact on mental health and wellbeing – of being able to minimise the number of clinic visits and instead access dedicated care and support, on perhaps the most sensitive of issues, from the privacy and comfort of home.
As we look towards the end of lockdown and a recovery phase from this pandemic, that has put so many lives on hold, we might also acknowledge that Covid may well have accelerated a change that will benefit thousands of fertility patients – and their employers – in the future.
Fertifa is the UK’s leading fertility and reproductive health benefits provider that delivers a bespoke, flexible corporate programme for employers of any size, leveraging its in-house telehealth innovation and medical expertise to make fertility care more accessible and affordable for all.
With decades of medical, benefit consulting and HR expertise, Fertifa are on hand to answer your questions. Get in touch today.