Introducing our 2023 finalists: Professor Georgina Chambers and the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit, UNSW
Research Australia is proud to recognise all of the outstanding finalists in this year’s Health and Medical Research Awards, and we look forward to celebrating their work at the Award gala on November 2.
This year, we’re sharing a few of their fantastic stories as an insight into some of the exciting research happening now in Australia. Keep an eye on our social media channels for more about this year’s finalists.
Research Australia is a passionate advocate for the importance of data in advancing Australia’s health sector. Through the Data Innovation category in the Health and Medical Research Awards, we celebrate an individual or team whose work could revolutionise the use of data in the medical research field.
This year, our finalists include the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit (NPESU) at UNSW, who are pioneers of data innovation in the Australian IVF sector.
SHAPING THE FUTURE OF FERTILITY
Infertility is a growing public health challenge, making IVF an important focus area for health researchers. Infertility affects 1 in 6 couples and is amplified by the continuing societal trend towards later childbearing. As a result, more people are having children using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) with 1 in 18 children born using ART in Australia.
Embarking on IVF treatment is a major life decision that can have profound effects on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. Patient decision aids such as online calculators for success or risk have been shown to help patients feel more comfortable during the decision-making process. However, up until recently, there has been no way for patients to independently compare IVF clinics across Australia, or to gain an unbiased estimate of their own chances of IVF success.
INNOVATING DATA FOR DECISION-MAKING
Supported by a MRFF Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research
Grant, the NPESU developed and launched the YourIVFSuccess website – the first Australian website to help consumers make informed decisions about IVF treatment. The website includes two consumer tools that were co-designed with end-users and demonstrate best practice in co-production, AI modelling, and interactive website design.
The website allows consumers to compare IVF clinics across Australia and utilises machine learning to provide those contemplating IVF with highly personalised predictions of their chances of success.
Since its launch in 2021, YourIVFSuccess has made a significant impact, with more than 110,000 visitors and 158,000 sessions, and monthly site visits continuing to increase.
“Our recent evaluation showed that the YourIVFSuccess Estimator has greatly helped those contemplating or going through IVF to realign their expectations of treatment success and to feel clearer in their decision-making,” says NPESU Director Professor Georgina Chambers.
“We are also updating the Estimator to include IVF success rates for same-sex couples, single females, and those contemplating using donor eggs or donor sperm. This will make YourIVFSuccess Estimator the only one in the world to cater for these patients, which is an important step for providing more inclusive IVF treatments.”
We look forward to celebrating the finalists and announcing the winners of the National Health and Medical Research Awards at a gala ceremony in Sydney on November 2. A small number of tickets remain: purchase here.
 IVF Australia. (n.d.). What is infertility? IVF Australia.
 Chambers GM, Newman JE and Paul RC. (2023). Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2021. (2023). UNSW Sydney.