Our team was at ACE 2019 held in Chennai, at the Leela Palace on 20th-21st July 2019. There were two-parallel sessions held on both days. The event was well-attended by Doctors, Clinicians, Embryologists, Medical Technologists, Manufactures etc. The SpOvum® team had a stall for 2 days (from 20th – 21st July 2019). The products highlighted on our stall were the RoboICSI® Dashboard and the RoboScope time-lapse imaging system. Stall visitors were gifted our customized SpOvum® pens!
Some of the noteworthy talks of ACE 2019 were
- “Unraveling the Secrets of Embryo Implantation” By Dr. Deepak Modi from NIRH, Mumbai
- “Doing ART legally” by Hitesh Bhatt
- “Is time lapse monitoring of embryos the future of embryo culture?” by Suresh Kattera
- “Can KPIs help programs identify shifts in quality?” by Dean Morbeck
- “Using artificial intelligence (AI) and time-lapse to improve human blastocyst morphology evolution” by Marcos Meseguer
There were also several interesting panel-discussions including one on “Real case scenarios in ART and management” and on “When good embryos fail…why and what next?”.
There was an engaging debate session on “Time-lapse imaging and incubation” wherein Dr. Keshav Malhotra spoke in favor of the technology and Dr. Pranay Ghose debated against it.
Take home messages from ACE 2019
Views on Time-lapse imaging studies on embryos
Most clinicians/doctors were of the opinion that Time-lapse imaging of embryos, currently offered by commercially available devices, may not add much value to the existing ART procedures. One of the main hindrances, they believe, is the high cost involved in investing in a Time-lapse imaging system when it is possible for an embryologist to manually record/monitor the embryo development at various stages.
Most clinicians do not prefer being burdened with the additional amount of data obtained through Time-lapse imaging systems. Clinicians/doctors are also not particularly convinced about what additional value is delivered by Time-lapse imaging systems to an existing ART procedure especially when it is offered as an extra payable service to patients.
However, clinicians/doctors showed willingness to invest in Time-lapse embryo imaging systems, if:
- It is offered at a lower cost
- Some amount of automation and pre-processing of the image-data, which will enable the embryologists to look at only relevant/selected images
We believe this will be an advantage for us to effectively market the our own time lapse imaging system which aims at providing a cost-effective means to obtain time-lapse images of the developing embryo after IVF procedure. The TLM also has automated ability to monitor multiple embryos and there is promising scope to include image-processing and AI to the system.
Views on RoboICSI® Dashboard
There are many EHR and EMR handling systems. The RoboICSI® Dashboard features a distinct advantage wherein it offers ART related specialized data management to all the stake-holders involved in the ART procedure. The stake-holders include the Patients, the Doctors, the Clinicians, the Embryologists etc. They were particularly impressed that the Dashboard® does not require multiple entering of the same data and automated report generation.
Another important highlight was, more doctors presenting algorithms and more comfortable and pliant in handling large amounts of data.
Overall, our team had a great time at ACE 2019 and it was great opportunity to learn from other experts, connect with several doctors, clinicians, technologists and IVF service providers. We also got numerous constructive feedback on our products and many visitors also requested an early access to the RoboICSI® Dashboard.
Our team also had wonderful time trying out the local cuisine and also visited the famous Marina Beach in Chennai. After the event of ACE 2019, we bid farewell to one of our team members, Shubham who had worked with us since 2018. We wish him the best for his future endeavors.