Mount Sinai spinout leverages machine learning in fertility tool

A novel approach designed to enable women to accurately measure and monitor key fertility hormones through daily urine samples is being piloted as an at-home, consumer diagnostic tool.

OOVA, a Mount Sinai Health System spinout, is partnering with nutritional supplement vendor Thorne Research to make OOVA’s fertility monitoring tool available to more than 3 million potential customers and 35,000 clinicians through bundled sales with Thorne’s supplements. The company plans to launch in the third quarter of 2019.

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“[OOVA] is empowering patients to take control over their own fertility. This product combines technological innovation and human behavior to meet an unmet demand in the market,” says Alan Copperman, MD, director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Mount Sinai. “The technology is a sophisticated direct-to-consumer test with widespread partnership opportunity and potential for impact.”

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The tool combines biotechnology with machine learning to measure and monitor the concentration of two key markers—luteinizing hormone and progesterone—in order to predict peak fertility. The hormone levels in urine samples are determined using a paper-based test strip and then via machine learning the test strip is scanned and interpreted with a smartphone camera.

“In a precise and meaningful way, women can acquire and monitor results in real time. They will have access to personalized reproductive health data,” says Jerome Scelza, co-founder and chief technology officer of OOVA.

Joel Dudley, director of the Mount Sinai Institute for Next Generation Healthcare and vice president for precision health at Mount Sinai, will serve as OOVA’s chief scientific advisor.

“This is one of the first products in the field of personalized, precision women’s health,” says Dudley. “While the platform started in fertility, the core technology can be applied in many different areas.”

According to Mount Sinai, the technology also serves as a prognostic tool for fertility issues and polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as a detection tool for cycle management, post-pregnancy menstrual assessment and pre-menopause.

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