Fertility care provider Ovum Health has partnered with IBM to scale its web and mobile app-based chat and scheduling solution with AI.

Alice Crisci, a healthcare activist, mum to a fertility preservation miracle, business owner and cancer survivor, founded MedAnswers and its telemedicine spinout Ovum Health, with the ambition of providing increase access to family-building solutions like pre-pregnancy, prenatal and postnatal healthcare.

Ovum Health’s platform provides medical software, clinical decision support, advanced lab testing and analytics to deliver a personalised approach to a healthy pregnancy.

With the generative AI boom in full effect, Crisci decided it was time to enlist a partner that could scale Ovum’s web and mobile app-based chat and scheduling solution with AI.

Ovum turned to the IBM Ecosystem and IBM watsonx Assistant to build a transformative digital service wherever patients might be. IBM helped Ovum embed watsonx Assistant in their website and mobile application, called FertilityAnswers Bot.

The bot addresses personal and private fertility questions vetted by a panel of board-certified healthcare experts engaged by Ovum. The solution also features a scheduling component that allows patients to schedule medical appointments in available states.

With over 67,000 registered FertilityAnswers iOS and Android users on Ovum Health’s free question-and-answer platform, the bot can interact with patients at scale while maintaining the care and empathy of a healthcare professional.

Crisci said: “Ovum partnered with IBM to embed IBM watsonx Assistant into our free FertilityAnswers mobile platform. With the power of enterprise-grade AI, we can now deliver clinically-validated, empathetic content to people efficiently and accurately.”

Since 2017, the FertilityAnswers network of more than 400 medical professionals has been providing responses to anonymous user questions, but the company was concerned about scaling their volunteer-based system.

Through the collaboration with IBM, Ovum Health’s FertilityAnswers App in iOS has been updated with the IBM-powered bot now driving the first question-and-answer interaction for users. 

The “Ask a Question” button in the app, newly integrated with IBM watsonx Assistant capabilities, includes the first 150 questions and answers from Ovum Health’s content library of 18,000 user-generated questions with clinically validated responses provided by multidisciplinary reproductive experts engaged by Ovum.

Ovum is continuing to work with IBM to develop new AI-powered solutions. The IBM Build Fund provides financial support to Ovum as well as other early-stage startups that are developing innovative AI solutions.

IBM’s presence within the NHS and healthcare is prominent. In November 2022, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust launched a new intelligent virtual assistant with IBM to support its human resources team to handle queries.