As a healthcare activist, a mom to a fertility preservation miracle, a business owner and a cancer survivor, Alice Crisci has dedicated her life to ending the spread of health misinformation. She founded MedAnswers and its telemedicine spinout, Ovum Health, with the hopes of providing increased 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 personalized 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.
Embedding IBM AI capabilities to drive the digital front door to Ovum’s network
After evaluating many products and partners, Ovum turned to the IBM Ecosystem and IBM watsonx Assistant to build 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. 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.
The FertilityAnswers Bot is a powerful tool that helps people with fertility concerns get the information they need to help them make decisions about their healthcare. It is a confidential and convenient way to get clinically validated responses to questions about fertility, and it can also connect people with the right medical care providers in the Ovum Health network which takes both Medicaid and commercial insurance in certain states.
A no-code solution with long-term technical benefits
When IBM works with partners like Ovum, they help stakeholders identify the return on investment (ROI) of embedding IBM’s AI technology into their products and services, and then IBM helps partners take that technology to market. IBM assisted Ovum Health in the creation of a no-code platform for an AI assistant that leverages natural language models—which became the FertilityAnswers Bot.
Using a no-code platform as the foundation of the FertilityAnswers Bot allowed Ovum to fully integrate watsonx Assistant into its web interface and iOS app in less than two months. The company now expects to scale its user base in a way that was not possible before. Ovum also expects to drive appointment setting for its telemedicine clinics.
Ovum continues 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.