On the bullet train to the future of fertility
Even in 2019, the amount of technology and innovation in Japan is stunning. Bullet trains whisk people around the country at amazing speeds, departing every few minutes, 24-7. High-definition billboards advertise hyper-realistic augmented reality video games. An AI-powered customer service robot helps travelers with questions at the airport. It all feels both like the future and very much routine.
There’s a baseline level of hunger for progress here. And after spending a week traveling around the country, the desire for progress continues inside the doors of Japan’s fertility clinics, where the latest tools are used to inform patients, prepare samples, monitor progress and help couples achieve their dreams. We’re thrilled to see ZyMōt™ Sperm Separation Devices amongst those sought-after innovations.
Our trip begins with visits to clinics where ZyMōt devices are being evaluated. ZyMōt is relatively new to Japan, and clinics are in the early phases of adoption. We first meet with Dr. Ken, who is eager to share his early results after using ZyMōt with just a few patients. As we sit in a room beside his lab, looking through the glass at his busy lab team, he is beaming with pride. After just five patients, he’s seen the future of sperm prep procedures. He shares preliminary data from patients who had histories of repeated failures. Now when processing their samples with ZyMōt, the results have changed: several successful pregnancies are underway. Pregnancy is a complicated equation, of course, and ZyMōt is just one link in a long chain of steps, but Dr. Ken is thrilled that ZyMōt helped him give hope to patients who had seen considerable struggle. It’s the kind of future that we want to see more of, and as his lab starts using ZyMōt devices regularly, we expect that we will see more smiles and excited presentations of clinical success from Dr. Ken.
A few days later, at the meeting of the Japanese Society for Reproductive Medicine, again the excitement is palpable. Our exhibit booth is swamped. Some people have questions. Some can hardly wait to tell us how much they love using ZyMōt devices in their practice. The team from Tokibo, our Japanese distributor, are enthusiastically showing off the products, giving visitors hands-on demonstrations of how simple and efficient it is to obtain the best sperm with ZyMōt. Using colored water in place of a sample, they show how raw semen is loaded, media is placed in the device, and finally how the sample is obtained. One visitor puts down the syringe and looks up at me from the table with a big grin. And if his face didn’t say it all, he exclaims: “So cool!” We couldn’t agree more.