The use of technologies such as Fenomatch in IVF donor treatments have revolutionized the IVF industry by helping professionals save time and improve efficiencies. This in turn has helped improve patient experience. The use of technology in health care can be overwhelming for some and its use needs to be explained and understood to create confidence.
IFC is pleased to partner with Fenomatch, specialists in the use of facial biometrics in fertility treatment. To understand how the product works in action we spoke to Reproducción Bilbao, an IVF clinic based in Bilbao, one of the best known cities in the Basque country and north of Spain.
Why did you decide at was the reason to start using Fenomatch?
One of the main concerns of our patients who need a donor to carry out their treatment is always around physical resemblance. When a donor is chosen, a physical similarity between her and her recipient is sought. Carrying out this search only by phenotype (ethnicity, hair colour, eyes) does not give the patient sufficient security and peace of mind regarding resemblance. We wanted to use a technology which inspired more confidence about our choice of donors.
Do you use Fenomatch with all patients who require donors?
At Reproducción Bilbao, we carry out an exhaustive study of donor candidates that involves everything from the simplest tests, physical and psychological examinations or genetic tests to study recessive mutations on a mandatory basis. The use of Fenomatch has become an integral part of our internal protocol to choose a suitable donor in a systematic way.
This allows us to find the right donor through phenotypic, genetic and biometric comparison.
If there is only one donor available for the patient, Do you still use facial matching to see if thereis a reasonable facial resemblance?
Yes, we use Fenomatch in all cases in which we need to assign a donor.
What do you like the most about Fenomatch?
It is a very easy-to-use tool and results are obtained immediately, so its use does not delay the choice of the donor.
What is the response from patients when you tell them about Fenomatch?
It is reassuring for our patients, because they attach great importance to the similarity between the donor and the recipient. They are overwhelmingly pleased that we offer an additional level of confidence to the donor selection process.
Do patients ask you to provide confirmation that Fenomatch technology has been used?
Patients have at their disposal the certificates confirming the use of Fenomatch which are automatically generated by the application and included in their medical records.
Do people know about Fenomatch when they arrive at the clinic? If not, is it hard for you to explain what it is?
There are still many patients who have not heard of this tool but are pleasantly surprised when we describe how we use it and the results we achieve each time.
Has the patient experience in your clinic improved since you have Fenomatch?
We believe that yes, that is what our patients tell us. It promotes confidence and addresses the natural anxieties that patients have about the use of anonymous donors.
Has the number of patients increased since you have Fenomatch available at the clinic?
Yes, it has definitely strengthened the service we offer to patients. It has proved to be very efficient and successful.
Have you had any funny anecdotes when using Fenomatch?
Sometimes we receive too many photos from the same recipient and it becomes too difficult to choose! All we ask from our patients is to choose a nature photo which displays their everyday appearance – you don’t have to dress up for Fenomatch!
Have you had any problems getting the photo of the patient or the donor?
We have not had any problems with either party. We explain to the donors why we need the photo and they understand it. In the case of the recipients, the predisposition is very good.
Do you always choose the donor with the highest Fenomatch matching score?
We always try to choose the most similar candidate and we take the score into account. Our priority however is the Genetic Compatibility Test that we carry out in all our treatments with donors.
We would recommend Fenomatch to all treatment centres who are required to choose donors on behalf of patients. It makes our job easier and inspires confidence amongst patients.
We thank the team at Reproducción Bilbao for participating in this interview.