The 21st of October 2015 earmarks the date on which “Marty McFly“ (Michael J. Fox) travels to the year 2015 in the cult film “Back to the Future“. Many of the fictitious forward-looking technology depicted in the film actually exists today – enough reasons for us to look to the not so far future of IVF and introduce groundbreaking innovation.
Fertility medicine far ahead
“Fertility medicine is eons ahead of other medical fields in regard to measurability, innovation, transparency and self-determination.” – for our medical director Univ. Prof. Dr. Heinz Strohmer innovation such as mobile ultrasound machines, automatic sperm samplers & matching systems are the logical next steps in the future development of fertility treatments.
Matching systems as decisive criteria in quality management
As of spring 2015 the Kinderwunschzentrum is in possession of a unique matching system which remains without comparison in Europe. Many steps of the fertility treatment are documented and all sample containers, dishes and instruments are provided with an individual QR code. “With this matching system we can guarantee the matching of the provided material”, explains Strohmer. “At the same time we can make sure that the complete treatment process is conducted without mistakes”.
Mobile ultrasound offers time saving possibilities
During the stimulation phase of an IVF treatment patients are required to come to the institute for ultrasound check-ups of the follicles, sometimes even at short intervals of two days. These check-ups pose a noticeable time stress especially for patients who do not live within the city and have long access routes. By employment of mobile ultrasound machines the patients can conduct the examination from home. The machine consists of a probe and a tablet on which the patients can save the ultrasound picture and transfer it to the Kinderwunschzentrum.
In the future, this technology will also bring along quite different possibilities: women can determine their fertile days with this method and thus do without hormonal contraception.
Automatic Sperm Sampler offers help
At the yearly congress of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology ( ESHRE) the Automatic Sperm Sampler was introduced. In the framework of an IVF treatment men have to deliver a sperm sample in order to fertilize the oocyte. Many experience this “on demand” request – despite supportive media such as films and magazines – as challenging. “The worst case scenario means we have to break off the treatment because of a failed sperm delivery” explains Univ. Prof. Dr. Andreas Obruca.
Currently, no studies can be found which concern themselves with the prevalence of problems during sperm delivery and thus how many treatments have to be discontinued due to this aspect. Strohmer: “The fact that a machine to aid sperm delivery was introduced at the leading conference for reproductive medicine means men need more attention in fertility treatments”. We are currently developing a research study on this topic.