Book Review: Patient-Centered Assisted Reproduction: How to Integrate Exceptional Care with Cutting-Edge Technology

Book Review

Like Comment

BOOK REVIEW: Patient-Centered Assisted Reproduction: How to Integrate Exceptional Care with Cutting-Edge Technology, by Alice D. Domar, Denny Sakkas and Thomas L. Toth

Reviewed by: Luis R. Hoyos M.D1
1 IVF Florida Reproductive Associates, Margate, FL

In a manner similar to writer H.G. Wells, a renowned futurist and visionary, the authors of this book attempt to foresee advents in the science of ART for the coming years while exploring, teasing and enlightening us with a cornucopia of envisioned potential practice changes with the patient at the center of it.

This book is short but substantial, encompassing 13 chapters with a diverse array of contemporary ART topics not uniquely devoted to the science but also to other important and relevant aspects such as economics, access to care, patient and nursing retention, communication, integrative care and psychological counseling. It reads easily and enjoyably putting everything into perspective thanks to the contribution of renowned authors in the field.

A must read for professionals, and patients, involved in ART as it summarizes where we currently are while foretelling where we will be whilst keeping the patient as the center where everything gravitates toward to. For example, the chapter “ART Monitoring: An End to Frequent Clinic Visits and Needle Sticks?” discusses current innovations in the area of IVF monitoring, posing the idea of friendlier monitoring methods for patients in the future including salivary measurements or point-of-care microdrop steroid blood assays as well as home sonography for follicular monitoring. These innovations could reflect a more patient-friendly future in IVF which is also discussed throughout the book in other aspects such as the use of technology to enhance communication with patients. In this regard, the chapter “Using Technology to Enhance Communication in Medically Assisted Reproductive Care” highlights the importance of website content, social media, support groups as well as the balance between human interaction and technology.

From the point of view of evaluation and pharmacology, the two relevant chapters discuss the current state and implications of expanded carrier screening, personalized embryo transfer and medications while offering a glimpse into their future while telling readers what we should expect in the upcoming times.

The chapter “The IVF Cycle to Come: Laboratory Innovations” was of the utmost interest by tackling several of the current laboratory techniques and attempting to predict the changes that will take place in this area while putting an emphasis on innovation in automation, microrobotics, and microfluidics all combined with artificial intelligence and non-invasive genetics as an integral part of personalized medicine.

However, perhaps the most telling chapter was the last one “The IVF Patient Journey of the Future” where everything that was covered throughout the book was summarized into a hypothetical fertility journey in the future. In this hypothetical construct, we can easily visualize how all these anticipated tools work together to improve not only the efficiency, but the effectiveness as well as the friendliness of the future fertility clinic.

In summary, this is a very refreshing book to let your mind wander into the almost sci-fi aspects of our field. I suggest you read it and after finishing, I recommend you take a minute, grab a cup of coffee (or your favorite choice of hot beverage) and think…where we were, where we are and thanks to the succinct coverage of the authors, where we will be. What an amazing time to be a part of this field and have the opportunity to improve it for our ultimate raison d'être…our patients. 

Reference

  1. Domar, A., Sakkas, D., & Toth, T. (Eds.). (2020). Patient-Centered Assisted Reproduction: How to Integrate Exceptional Care with Cutting-Edge Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108859486

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

2 Comments

Go to the profile of Erika New
Erika New 12 days ago

Sounds like an interesting book full of great ideas for how to make the infertility journey less of a burden on our patients. Some of the mentioned advancements may be a sooner reality than others, particularly concerning frequent blood draws. The article, “Concordance of Fingerstick and Venipuncture Sampling for Fertility Hormones,” published in the Green Journal February 2019 showed that hormonal results for AMH, E2, FSH, LH, PRL, testosterone, TSH, and free T4 were concordant between venipuncture and fingerstick samples! While home sonography for follicle monitoring seems unbelievable, with the advances in automated, 3D follicular monitoring with SonoAVC, perhaps this really could become a reality in the future. A low-tech but welcome change I have noticed during the coronavirus pandemic is that it is encouraging clinics to very much reconsider whether each ultrasound, blood draw, or clinic visit is absolutely necessary, to minimize unnecessary risk to our patients.

 Burke EE, Beqaj S, Douglas NC, Luo R. Concordance of Fingerstick and Venipuncture Sampling for Fertility Hormones. Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Feb;133(2):343-348. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003066. PMID: 30633131.

Go to the profile of Luis Hoyos
Luis Hoyos 11 days ago

I completely agree. I think these changes are closer than we think and not not only will our patients benefit from them, but so will we. With all the terrible things we have gone through as a society due to the pandemic, we do have to acknowledge the opportunity that was given to us to change and improve several of our usual paradigms, the biggest being office visits for everything.