Efforts to improve in vitro fertilization success rates have been stymied over the years by equitable access and general affordability in the fertility treatment space. First off, the average IVF cycle comes with a massive price tag that can range between $15,000 to $30,000. In the U.S., excessive expense is a major contributing factor to the statistic that estimates only one in 25 couples can access proper fertility care.
“For patients, assisted reproduction is prohibitively expensive, often requires multiple attempts, is physically and emotionally onerous, and is still rarely covered by insurance,” said Paxton Maeder-York, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Alife Health. These cost issues are a two-way street; both patients and providers are tasked with footing hefty bills.
The problem in some respects stems from historically underfunded R&D in women’s health and fertility, which is evidenced by the fact that the majority of recent advances have germinated from private-sector fertility clinics. There is some hope for the future in terms of a public upswing in funding, however, as other investors as well as tech innovators have started to join the conversation.
In addition to increasing the rate of successful outcomes, the goal of improving patient experiences is paramount. Overburdened clinics face a tough obstacle in delivering high-quality fertility care.
“Evidence shows that major stressors for patients are the requirements for frequent clinic visits, invasive tests, and communication issues with clinic staff during treatment,” said Gary Nakhuda, the Co-Founder of Olive Fertility Centre in Canada.