Infertility affects millions of couples around the world. Based in Prague, Leeaf is a medical tech company using AI technology to positively impact the conception journey. Here we discuss the personal experiences that shaped the company, and the groundbreaking tech driving it forward.
According to a 2020 report from UCLA Health, an estimated 15% of people will face conception issues. Globally, 48.5 million couples and 186 million individuals experience infertility, with around 9% or men and 10% of women aged 15-44 reporting fertility issues in the USA alone. Infertility has vast impacts on the lives of infertile couples, who often experience social stigma, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and the breakdown of relationships.
Personalising the IVF Journey
Formed in 2020, Leeaf is a medical technology company that delivers an efficiency-enabling digital health platform for physicians and patients undergoing assisted reproduction treatment.
Leeaf provides hyper-personalised fertility treatment recommendations for both doctor and patient, harnessing big data analysis and AI methodology to positively impact the conception journey. The solution translates available technology to fertility health making it a strongly data-driven and research-backed solution that collects unprecedented data on the reaction of women’s health to hormonal stimulation across demographics, ethnicities, and environments to fundamentally empower fertility treatments.
“We want to disrupt existing patterns in female health care and contributing our part to a future where women benefit from a personalized medical approach tailored to their individual needs. Leeaf aims to spread awareness, educate, and counteract the notion of infertility as a socially tabu topic,” says Olga Chabr Grillova, Co-CEO of Leeaf.
Personal experience inspiring innovation
Leeaf was founded by Jan Choma, a successful entrepreneur and business leader with a background in the delivery of AI based cognitive solutions to the healthcare sector. His decision to form the company was a personal as well as professional one, as Jan and his wife had tried for a baby for over two years before their son Oliver was born in 2016 following twelve failed cycles of IVF.
“I was told at only 25 years old that there is a big chance that I would not be able to have children of my own. I immediately underwent fertility treatment and egg freezing, because I simply did not want to take the risk,” says Olga, who today has a two-year-old son.
Since the first IVF baby was born over 40 years ago, the area has seen vast improvements and innovations. Ovarian stimulation has become more personalised, and technology has allowed for more tailored, accurate selection of sperm and more effective fertilisation treatments. Yet only a third of IVF cycles result in pregnancy, and only a relatively small number of those lead to live birth.
Four-Dimensional Data for Physicians
Securing seed funding, Jan left his corporate job at the end of 2020 to develop the Leaaf platform. His vision was to transform the conception journey by making it possible for physicians to deliver truly personalised fertility treatment recommendations to their patients, taking into account four-dimensional data (medical, lifestyle, environmental, genetic).
Jan’s background in AI played an important part in the speed at which the company was able to move forward. He experimented with ways of applying AI to evaluate the quality of embryos, with outstanding success, leading to presentations at ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) in Lisbon in 2015 and Helsinki 2016. The presentations drew great attention from several significant industry players, who were all impressed by Jan’s ground-breaking work.
Far from resting on his laurels, Jan saw the success of the embryo evaluation experiment as a springboard to looking for more challenges in the field of fertility. He discovered that the need for reliable big data analysis and the efficient application of AI methods in human fertilization was much greater than previously realised. Increased competition in the industry had resulted in a disruption of the entire IVF value chain, driving Jan to present his new ideas about the role AI could play in treatment.
Jan and his team prioritised market needs in 2018, leading to a UK market test in the autumn of the following year, and by the end of 2019 Leeaf had a very clear direction – four leading fertility clinics presented pilot projects affirming clinical benefits of AI solutions for IVF treatments.
The Leeaf solution
The Leeaf platform offers two main solutions: the Leeaf Physician Portal and the Leeaf mobile App.
The Physician Portal is a physician-oriented data-driven decision support tool that assists doctors and fertility specialists with treatment selection and enables them to make tailored fertility treatment recommendations catering to the specific needs and unique predispositions of every single patient. The platform combines the functionalities of EMR and clinic workflow improvement tools with error prevention and decision supporting functionalities. Unlocking the power of medical data to enable physicians, fertility specialists, and clinics to offer truly personalized customer experiences.
The Leeaf App was developed for women undergoing or expected to undergo fertility treatment. This patient-oriented mobile app digitizes the patient fertility journey in a truly accessible and transparent way, allowing patients to store, access, and easily share all fertility and ART related data. Patients can keep track of their own fertility health, treatments and stimulation protocols while staying connected to their clinics in real time.
About the Leeaf study
Leeaf’s prospective study looks at four key areas – medical, lifestyle, environmental and genetic – and investigates how they effect the outcomes of ovarian stimulation for IVF. This provides a meaningful combination of medical knowledge, unique physician experience and information through data analysis and the application of carefully prepared algorithms.
Building on several previously completed scientific studies on artificial intelligence in IVF, Leeaf is conducting a prospective, multi-centric, international study which allows scientists to look deeper into factors that may influence outcomes of controlled ovarian stimulation. The study will be carried out utilizing a combination of standardised lab work, centralized coordination, and pre-defined patient selection criteria.
Jan and his team are currently working with clinics and universities across the UK, Spain, Czech Republic, and Hungary and expect to aggregate 1 000 patient records by Q2 2023.
Leeaf is a company on a mission to disrupt existing patterns in female health care and empower women to make informed choices and decisions based on their own individual needs. They strive to empower fertility treatments and support patients on a journey to successfully conceive in two cycles or less.
To find out more about Leeaf, visit the company website at www.leeaf.life. You can also follow Leeaf on social media: