New mobile health diagnostic for livestock helps meet growing food demand
Truthfulness LLC develops and markets patented technologies that use proprietary machine learning frameworks for rapid, inexpensive, and accurate evaluation of livestock and ovulation semen samples.
“Fertile-Eyez, our state-of-the-art technology platform, delivers real-time precision data for animal reproduction. No specialized training is required, ”said Liane Hart, CEO of Verility and Purdue alumnus. College of Agriculture. “Improvements in semen analysis and ovulation detection for animal reproduction are two of the most important ways to meet the critical need for more edible protein. Conception rate is strongly correlated with producer profitability and food sustainability; we believe that Fertile-Eyez will play a key role. in breeding sheds and laboratories around the world to help this effort. “
Hart said Fertile-Eyez is a cloud-based mHealth, or mobile health, technology that can provide immediate animal testing by quickly analyzing sperm morphology, motility and concentration as well as saliva for the ovulation detection.
“It’s like having a trained lab technician and a microscope in the palm of your hand,” Hart said. “This fertility platform has the potential to change the way testing is done in the livestock industry on all major livestock species, resulting in increased performance of animal production facilities and superior genetics.
Hart said that Fertile-Eyez has several benefits for end users.
“Not only is it affordable, but it completely removes any subjectivity from the analysis since the person reading the sample is completely removed,” Hart said. “Because it’s a mobile system, it doesn’t require someone to send samples to a lab or other part of the farm for analysis.
“The three main components of sperm quality – morphology, motility and concentration – are extremely important in animal husbandry and can often be under-analyzed due to lack of manpower and time or the ability to have the right machine in the right place at an affordable price. In addition, estrus detection is a very laborious and time-consuming procedure, so people only check for heat detection once a day, resulting in errors as to when ovulation occurs. actually, resulting in missed cycles and increased labor and animal costs. “
The technology was invented at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. It was originally developed for humans in the lab of Hadi Shafiee, currently a co-founding member of Verility, to improve the user experience by enabling testing of samples in the home rather than in the clinic. It was recently studied for further application in boars to test sperm quality in the lab of Kara Stewart, associate professor of animal science at Purdue University. The data proved that the technology correlates strongly with current best practices, and the Verility team is currently working to publish these results in a recognized, peer-reviewed journal.
The Verility team has partnered with other pork experts throughout this phase of development: The Maschhoffs, one of America’s 5 largest pork companies; its sister company, Acuity, a swine technology company that provides competitive genetic resources for unique pig farms; and Summit SmartFarms, a startup that focuses on providing decision-ready information to understand the cost of malfunction in weaning-to-finish systems through its SmartMargin app.
Hart has also partnered with the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization center housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Purdue’s Discovery Park District, to capture entrepreneurial ideas and funding through established venture capital networks. Verility is currently seeking seed funding for further phases of development.