Philips joins Merck KGaA to develop AI-guided fertility treatments

Using artificial intelligence and remote patient monitoring services, the two companies hope to provide highly personalized solutions to help maximize the chance of conception. (Philips)

Philips and Germany’s Merck KGaA have launched a multi-year partnership to help bring digital technologies to fertility treatments—combining informatics, mobile ultrasound diagnostics and more.

Using artificial intelligence and remote patient monitoring services, the two companies hope to provide highly personalized solutions, plus information guiding the choice and timing of treatments to help maximize the chance of conception.

“The journey for aspiring parents is sometimes a difficult one, and by collaborating with Merck, a world leader in fertility treatment, we aim to develop integrated digital solutions that improve the patient experience and can ultimately have a positive impact on health outcomes,” said Philips’ chief innovation and strategy officer, Jeroen Tas.

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The partnership will also build on Philips’ consumer engagement apps, Pregnancy+ and Baby+, which provide information on diet and exercise, as well as updates on the baby’s development. Merck, meanwhile, maintains a large portfolio of hormone treatments, delivery devices, laboratory equipment and in vitro fertilization technologies.

“We believe that the future of IVF will be unlocked through digital health technologies that empower professionals and patients to be better connected,” said Michelangelo Canzoneri, Merck’s global healthcare head of digital and data.

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Separately, Merck recently announced the formation of a digital ethics advisory panel, designed to provide counsel across all of the company’s business divisions. 

Operating alongside its previous bioethics advisory panel, the digital group will focus on matters related to data usage and algorithm development, and consist of academic and industry experts from the U.S. and Europe.

Its first task will be to develop a digital code of ethics to provide a governing framework that will guide both the panel’s activities and the company.