Data-Driven Care: Indispensable for Fertility Treatment

By G. David Adamson, M.D.,
Founder and CEO,
ARC Fertility

One in eight adults in the United States deals with infertility due to medical conditions including low sperm count in men, and irregular cycles, endometriosis and fibroids in women. Prospective single parents, the LGBTQ+ community, and those dealing with cancer or wanting to adopt also face daunting family forming challenges.

To confront these issues, some try digital-only solutions while others embrace every possible family forming option. Healthcare is complex, and the fertility journey especially so in many ways — psychologically, financially, medically, and socially. Because one size does not fill all, good outcomes must be based on evidence from sound research.

Comprehensive Healthcare Practices Require Comprehensive Data

Patients need verifiable, scientifically provable results. The most dedicated and reliable healthcare companies will embrace approaches that have been scientifically tested, peer reviewed, and field-tested to expand practitioners’ real expertise in helping people.
More and more, these scientific bona fides come through data and analytics, and the healthcare industry must continue to embrace data collection. But collecting data exclusively from patients undergoing treatment can lead to avoidable errors.

Healthcare providers must learn the ins and outs of effective data collection, understanding:

  • What data to gather
  • How to standardize that data
  • How to analyze data accurately
  • What the analysis means
  • How to act on the results

All this sounds complex and challenging because it is. Mastering data will require both deep and broad expertise, if not from practitioners themselves, then from trusted analysts who understand their clients’ practices, and who will not “cherry pick” or manipulate data to make convenient arguments. This expertise is absolutely necessary if providers hope to offer comprehensive, cutting-edge fertility care.

Using Data from All Available Sources

Thankfully, reliable and validated data is available to augment the information collected on the ground at practices. The International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART), the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all collect extensive fertility data across entire populations. This broader dataset can help researchers and practitioners alike acquire vital, evidence-based information that sheds light on healthcare factors that could otherwise go unnoticed

For example, we know there is often inequity in access to medical care, and this lack of treatment can lead to a lack of documentation of the untreated, so that the root causes cannot be quantified and addressed. If we mean to create diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in our practices and in the workplace, we must start with the best and most inclusive possible datasets and an intention to analyze and implement results fairly.

Our Success Story: Reducing Multiple Births

At ARC Fertility, we strive to use evidence-based care models to arrive at and save money through better outcomes, and to avoid waste. Data helped us reduce our patients’ rate of multiple births using single embryo transfer (SET) procedures, resulting in more healthy babies. This is just one example of how data and research can create better outcomes for patients seeking fertility treatment.

Data empowers doctors and patients to make informed decisions about care together and can lead to new innovations in healthcare treatments. We need national action in embracing data-driven treatments for those forming families across the fertility medicine landscape. Only then can we continue offering the best comprehensive care — psychologically, financially, medically, and socially.

Read ARC Fertility Validation Reports HERE.