Human embryo fluorescence microscope: researching the market & exploring exploitation models for a disruptive medical device


Valls i Santamaria, Mònica  


One in six couples suffers from subfertility problems. It is estimated that the current prevalence of infertility that lasts at least 12 months affects between 8-12% worldwide in women aged 20 to 44 years (ESHRE, 2016). Assisted reproductive techniques (ART), including in vitro fertilization (IVF), have helped overcome many infertility problems and 9 million babies have been born worldwide with the help of IVF (De Geyter et al., 2018).
The global market for in vitro fertilization (IVF) was valued at $15,199.5 million in 2017 and is expected to grow further at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of around 10.2% during the next five years, reaching 32,856.0 million dollars in 2025 See Research, 2018). Standardization of procedures through automation, regulatory reforms, and government funding for sperm storage are contributing factors to the IVF market. Furthermore, the factors that can be attributed to the growth of the market are the increasing incidence of infertility, the emerging trend of family planning at a later age, and the development of advanced technologies. With the increasing prevalence of infertility in Europe and the success rates of steady-state IVF, the field of assisted reproduction calls for groundbreaking advancement. The current trend in IVF clinics is to attempt to transfer a single embryo and be successful in a single pregnancy, as both unsuccessful and multiple pregnancies are physically, emotionally, and financially traumatic (Katz, Nachtigall, & Showstack, 2002). Thus, only 30% of the transferred embryos are implanted and develop until term, improving the success rate of IVF for the transfer of a single embryo, recognizing which embryo has the best chance of implantation is one of the main challenges . Therefore, identifying competent embryos for implantation is a critical step in the IVF cycle. However, current methods cannot differentiate. To overcome this limitation, our team is developing a new technology involving an imaging method that will provide IVF professionals with a robust and unbiased method to identify embryos with the highest implantation potential. We anticipate that the technology resulting from this project will be the basis for a new medical device that combines laser illumination with new software analysis. The overall goal is to develop a new tool that allows IVF professionals to select competent embryos, thus increasing the implantation success rate and reducing the time to pregnancy.
To investigate whether this technology makes sense and is economically viable in today's market for IVF instruments, extensive market research has been carried out and is described in this paper. Thanks to the results obtained, we realized that the business model that initially seemed to make the most sense was not what the market needed. By understanding the science and researching the market for this technology, we changed our business strategy to make this prototype tailored to the needs of end users and patients.



Olivé i Tomàs, Antoni
Ojosnegros Martos, Samuel    


IQS SM - Undergraduate Program in Business Administration and Management