Dr Michelle Perugini is a PhD in Medicine, an expert in health, medical research and AI, and a serial entrepreneur. She is also the CEO and co-founder of Life Whisperer, an innovative artificial intelligence (A.I.) start-up improving the rate of IVF pregnancies.

Life Whisperer is a web-based application that assists embryologists in picking the healthiest embryo during the IVF process. The system uses a combination of a large dataset of historical embryo images and A.I. that can detect which of those embryos are healthy based on known outcomes of that data set.

Smarter A.I.

This system allows clinicians to “drag and drop” a patient’s embryo images directly onto the web application. The A.I. analyses each of the embryos to help them to pick the one most likely to lead to a successful pregnancy.

Dr Perugini says that her drive to help others is her inspiration for the project, “if you can use technology to enable or improve the experience for patients and get them pregnant, that's amazing to me. That's why we do this”.

Dr Perugini is dedicated to using technology to help people.

Life Whisperer is literally an award winning idea. The team won the Global Award through the Talent Unleashed program which is administered by Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak the Apple co-founder.

The team at Life Whisperer are also taking their idea global, with Dr Perugini at the helm. “We’ve just concluded our international clinical study which we presented at a big international conference in Vienna that involved 12 different clinics where we derive data from and across four different countries; the United States Australia New Zealand and Malaysia,” says Dr Perugini. 

If that isn’t amazing enough, this isn’t Dr Perugini’s first successful start-up. “I co-founded another global AI technology business in 2007 and that was all about using A.I. for consumer behaviour modelling of whole populations of consumers.” That start-up was sold to Ernst and Young in 2015.

A local flavour

Dr Perugini may have global reach but is dedicated to remaining local. “South Australia is an amazing place to do research and development because of that very strong talent pool that we have here. Of course, we're a global company so we will have staff in different countries selling the product to market but we truly believe that we will develop the research here and will leverage the talent coming out of the universities, offering them jobs within this really exciting sector.”

The journey doesn’t end with Life Whisperer either, says Dr Perugini, “Our mission is to be able to improve patient outcomes through technology. That's the mission of our company. We've developed the infrastructure to be able to do that. We've created a team that is expert across technology and healthcare and we think that we can really leverage this opportunity to improve patient outcomes”.

Hear more

If you’d like to hear more about Dr Perugini’s journey, you can catch her at ON Tribe Forum as a Guest Speaker! If you’re one of our alumni, check your inbox for an invite and if you have any troubles, please get in touch with us at on@csiro.au.

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