More and more women in Italy are resorting to heterologous fertilization. But a doubt frequently assails the future mother: who will the baby look like? In aid of couples who resort to egg donation comes ‘Ovomatch’, a new App able to track down the ideal donor for compatibility and aesthetic similarity, thanks to facial recognition technology. Women access egg donation in case of infertility due to premature menopause, reduced ovarian reserve, advanced reproductive age, genetic defects or familiarity with genetic pathologies.
The App, developed by the Ovobank egg bank in Marbella, Spain, and offered in Italy by the Altamedica Assisted Reproduction Center in Rome, “allows you to select from among the donors the one with facial features most similar to the recipient“, explains Franco Lisi, head of the Altamedica center in the capital.
“It is a technology that is enjoying great success – underlines – Among the women who come to our center, one in two chooses to use the new application. In the near future this software will see a wide diffusion also because it has the considerable advantage. of to allay the anxieties of many women who are approaching heterologous fertilization. The App guarantees a similarity between donor and recipient verified by algorithm and, considering that the similarity is acquired also with cohabitation, it will help to ensure that the future born will resemble their parents “.
But how does it work? The doctor of the center inserts i personal and phenotypic data of the patient and partner. It is possible to continue the search with the facial matching: the patient takes a selfie and the software starts searching for the donor. The App scans multiple points on the face and compares them, thanks to a mathematical facial recognition algorithm, with the Ovobank database. The facial matching will select the ones that most closely resemble the patient. In this way, in addition to the phenotypic and blood group compatibility, the ‘best match’ in the recruiting pool is also elaborated for facial similarity.
“From 2004 to 2014, Italian couples who chose to have a child through heterologous fertilization were forced to go abroad – recalls Claudio Giorlandino, gynecologist and general director of the Italian College of Fetal Maternal Medicine – Then in 2014 the ban on heterologous fertilization was repealed and in recent years the request for heterologous with egg donation has tripled. In Italy, the demand is the highest in Europe, because we are the country where the first pregnancy is faced later. In every assisted reproduction center, 25% of the treatments are in vitro fertilization female, but the Italian donors are few: since the reimbursement of expenses is forbidden, it is difficult to find volunteers. To date, therefore, for egg donation the Italian assisted reproduction centers have collaborations with foreign structures that send the oocytes to Italy “.