According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1 in 6 couples worldwide (over 20 million people) are diagnosed with infertility each year and require IVF treatment to conceive.
Infertility is a condition that affects the reproductive systems of both males and females, posing significant challenges to couples attempting to conceive. It often leads to distress, stigma, and financial difficulties, with potential adverse effects on individuals' mental and psychosocial well-being. Importantly, infertility rates are similar across high- to low-income countries, highlighting that this is a global health challenge.
In many countries, fertility treatments are typically funded out of pocket, resulting in substantial financial burdens. Individuals in the poorest countries often allocate a higher percentage of their income to fertility care than those in wealthier countries. The high costs associated with these treatments frequently hinder people from accessing infertility treatments or, alternatively, push them into poverty when seeking care.
Regrettably, the current IVF technology, established in the 1970s, relies on outdated, manual lab processes that have seen very little innovation in over 40 years since the first IVF birth.
As a result, only 2% of patients worldwide have access to IVF treatment. The lack of automation and reliance on legacy processes limit capacity, increase costs, and prevent millions of people in need from receiving fertility treatments.