Fertility success rates

It’s well known that predicting the probability of fertility treatment that results in a successful live birth is difficult, particularly in the absence of quality data to guide individual patient treatment.

The result is that the overall fertility success rate has barely improved over the past decade, while the demand for services has increased markedly. Both private and NHS fertility services are now faced with the mounting complexity of harnessing data for better patient outcomes and better service management.

But what if there was a single, specialist system designed in collaboration with fertility experts that can leverage patient data to allow clinicians to make scientifically supported treatment decisions to not only be able to more accurately predict a patient’s chance of falling pregnant but understand the cost to deliver treatment for better clinic management?

The latest figures published in March this year by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) revealed a 5% increase in the number of people seeking fertility treatment over a twelve month period. Although there was also a slight increase in the overall success rate to 26.5% in 2013, this number hasn’t deviated far from the 25% mark over the past 10 years.

The fertility success rate has profound fiscal implications for both NHS-funded and private clinics. Over 52,000 patients underwent 67,708 cycles of treatment in 2014, with 41.3% of these cycles funded by the NHS. Considering it costs the state an average of £3,435 per round of IVF, the NHS stands to save almost £1 million per year for every one percent that the success rate improves.

This is the motivation behind CaptureFertility, a specialised software solution aimed at simultaneously reducing costs and improving patient outcomes.

“This targeted, patient-centric approach is designed to save time and money, as well as avoid unnecessary uncertainty and anxiety on the part of the patient.”

CaptureFertility, a new clinically driven software solution from Silverlink, is aimed at improving fertility success rates through better use of clinical data. The comprehensive fertility management system enables clinicians to make scientifically supported decisions by using accurate, real-time and patient-specific data together with the national datasets. Developed in collaboration with Professor Alison Murdoch of the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Newcastle Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust, the data collected by CaptureFertility will give patients greater certainty and put clinicians in the best possible position to determine the most effective treatment – and duration of treatment. The particular barriers to improved patient success rates that are targeted by this platform include:

  • The prohibitive costs which restrict the number of cycles a patient can undergo.
  • Success rates based on data that is at least two years old, and may no longer be relevant.
  • Datasets derived from too few cycles to reliably predict a patient’s future chance of success.
  • Inclusion/exclusion criteria for treatment which rely too heavily on the national averages.

Not only will a patient’s chances of success be more accurately predicted, the treatment most likely to be effective can be easily identified by pulling data relating to a specific patient without having to rely on national trends.

CaptureFertility enables clinicians to compile personalised treatment plans based on more relevant data. The ease of access to analysable information – both in real time and retrospectively – provides for the accurate population of data sets which in turn could dramatically increase the accuracy of predictions.

 “…this system will serve the patient because we can use it to more accurately predict who is more likely to become pregnant.”

“In the end, this system will serve the patient because we can use it to more accurately predict who is more likely to become pregnant. For service providers there are so many factors that influence the success of IVF, so if we see a change in quality indicators or key performance indicators, we could go back and look at ways to enhance the services they offer,” said Professor Murdoch.

Out-of-date information is a formidable barrier to correctly predicting a patient’s outcome. Presently it takes roughly two years to gather and organise enough data, as well as to conduct complex multi-variant analyses, by which time the outputs might be obsolete. CaptureFertility facilitates the rapid collection and amalgamation of data to reduce the time required to process and publish it for the healthcare community.

This targeted, patient-centric approach is designed to save time and money, as well as avoid unnecessary anxiety and uncertainty on the part of the patient. In addition, adopting CaptureFertility to digitise existing patient and clinical performance data is in line with the NHS’s move to a more efficient, paperless system underpinned by the use of technology, freeing up money and time that can be redirected into patient services.

 “Out-of-date information is a formidable barrier to correctly predicting a patient’s outcome.”

The NHS has made a sizeable commitment to using information technology to make healthcare more efficient and cost effective. CaptureFertility delivers on this mandate by providing fertility experts with the tools they need to move to paperless working and raise fertility success rates through better quality data. This allows for a quicker and more accurate patient assessment, and more effective treatment.