This is a guest blog post from author, Aleksander Wiecki is the CEO of IVF Media Ltd and Vice-Chairman of the European Fertility Society.
Traditionally, anyone experiencing fertility issues could be the passive partner in a relationship dominated by the professional advisor or medic. It was the professional’s job to consider the options and invariably choose the treatment and the patient’s job to merely accept the decision.
In the last two decades, the development of online resources has affected this relationship. The patient has grown more empowered, armed with the knowledge gained from an ever-increasing digital pool of fertility information. They are becoming more proactive in the consideration and choice of treatment options. In short, the lens is now firmly on the patient, and it is they who are effectively steering their fertility journey.
FertiAlly.com is the latest digital platform that aims to answer fertility questions – to provide the fertility patient with the knowledge to enable them to drive the debate about their fertility health, choices, and treatment. The platform is unique, inspired, effective, and importantly, free to patients used to having to pay for add-ons associated with fertility treatment.
Patient-Centered Care and Support
At the very heart of FertiAlly is the desire to put patients left, right, and center across the initiative. The aim is simple, experienced fertility experts (including doctors, embryologists, psychologists, coaches, counselors, and therapists) answer questions in front of a camera, and the resulting videos are posted online. The patient, however, is the principal protagonist in the initiative. They lead the debate, ask the questions most important to them, and ultimately it is they who decide which response is relevant to their needs. It’s signposting, but not as we know it.
Based on the fact that it takes less time to take in a well-crafted video than it does to digest pages of complicated text about a complex subject in its own right, FertiAlly aims to revolutionize how patients gather information about their diagnosis, treatment, and support. Fertility health and medical interventions that address poor health is a complicated business. It is a lot to ask of patients who are often suffering from the trauma of not being able to conceive easily, plow through endless websites (which can be loaded in favor of a particular treatment or treatment provider) in search of answers.
Safe, Accessible, and Impartial
FertiAlly.com is not the holy grail. It does not promise to provide patients with the golden key, which will unlock all their fertility problems. It does, however, provide honest and transparent replies to the questions posed by patients themselves. It makes bite-size opinions accessible and designed to lay the foundations for patients to pursue treatments and choices relevant to them. The videos that are created are offered to patients via the FertiAlly website and its YouTube channel, which can be viewed in the comfort of their own home. The latter was significant for the team behind the platform, as Alex Wiecki, one of its Founders explains:
“Fertility patients can access a multitude of information online, but many find this daunting, impersonal, and don’t know where to start and who to believe. However, we believe that fertility issues deserve to be considered and shared in a safe, supportive environment. One which allows emotional, delicate and medical matters to be addressed by experts who are experienced in the field and are identifiable”.
For the Vulnerable Patient, Honesty and Trust Are as Important as the Treatment They Receive
FertiAlly is not only concerned with the immediate fertility needs of anyone experiencing the pain of not being able to achieve pregnancy easily, but it is also concerned about the health of the fertility sector as a whole.
The sector that has significance to a growing number of people who rely on it to realize their dreams of becoming parents must exude honesty and transparency to gain the trust of those who depend on it. With this in mind, FertiAlly has partnered with the European Fertility Society (ESF), a not-for-profit, independent body established to encourage good practice and protect patients’ rights going through treatment. For each video answer published on the FertiAlly website, a donation of 5 Euros will be made to the EFS.
In a world where cost is king, it is refreshing to see a product freely offered to fertility patients and prepared to invest in initiatives designed to protect and promote the interest of the patient.
The first step in the right direction for fertility patients seeking answers to the questions that matter is an obvious one. Take a look at the FertiAlly YouTube channel, which provides a blueprint for any prospective parent.