Can artificial intelligence and big data improve South Korea’s fertility rate

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The country has the lowest fertility rate in the world and hopes to boost the number of births.

South Korea has announced that it will be using artificial intelligence (AI) in combination with big data to help overcome its low birth rate struggles.

The country has been pouring money into improving the fertility rate without improvements.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare has commissioned research for the use of artificial intelligence analytics for supporting infertility programs and pregnancy planning for more effective outcomes. The purpose of the effort is to examine successful pregnancy cases that occur despite infertility diagnoses. Machine learning will be employed to examine these cases to develop optimized embryo conditions.

If the AI and big data strategy usage turns out to be feasible, the ministry will test the program in certain local areas before rolling it out across the country. The hope is that the program will make it possible to create customized programs to help couples to overcome infertility struggles.

Artificial intelligence - Couple with fertility challenges

Using artificial intelligence and big data may help couples to overcome their unique infertility challenges.

It is difficult to examine successes in pregnancy following infertility treatments and to select the “good embryos”, though it is critical to do so in successful pregnancies, according to the ministry’s head of fertility policy, Son Moon-keum.

“Analysing actual infertility treatment data through AI is expected to provide optimum treatment scheme,” said Son.

Beyond the dropping marriage rate and the rising reluctance in the face of giving birth, women hoping to become mothers are increasingly reliant on fertility treatments as they seek to become pregnant at older ages.

In 2018, 2.8 percent of newborns – that is, 8,973 babies – were born under the South Korean government’s infertility medical support programme, according to data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. In 2020, that figure skyrocketed to 10.6 percent of newborns, representing 28,699 babies.

From 2011 to 2019, the number of women diagnosed with infertility rose by 16 percent from 196,853 to 228,696. The use of the artificial intelligence technology could help that rising number of women to improve the programs they follow to achieve successful pregnancies.

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