Merck Announced Innovation Project Cooperation with Huchuang Union to Promote AI Applications in Assisted Reproduction

Merck China Innovation Hub signed an innovation project cooperation agreement with Huchuang Union, to collaborate in the field of assisted reproduction based on artificial intelligence technology. The two parties will jointly develop a system application which use artificial intelligence technology to observe embryos.

“AI-enabled Health Solutions is one of the major innovation fields that Merck China Innovation Hub has been focusing on. It includes the AI-based new technologies, products and services, which can impact the medical or healthcare industry across the value chain. We’re committed to exploring new solutions based on our own business advantages and actively collaborating with local innovative enterprises.” said Ms. Sophie Sun, Managing Director of Merck China Innovation Hub and Vice President of Merck Strategy and Transformation China. “The collaboration between two parties will strive to advance the applications of artificial intelligence technology on assisted reproduction, supporting couples with convenient and efficient assisted reproduction solutions so as to fulfill their dream of parenthood.”

The innovation project co-developed by two parties is an innovation system leveraging AI image analysis technology in the field of assisted reproduction. It’s aimed to observe embryos with AI technology and generate reports automatically. Merck is a global leader in assisted reproductive treatment with over 60 years of experience in the area. Based on the digital strategy of Merck healthcare sector and its expertise on fertility business, and by leveraging the innovative technology of Huchuang Union in embryo database and image analysis algorithm, the innovation system is expected to support the intelligent decision-making of IVF centers and provide references for physicians and families. Infertility in China currently stands at approximately 15.5%[1]. This figure continues to trend upwards due to a range of factors, including the delayed onset of parenthood, a declining willingness to bear children, as well as a rise in stress and environmental pollution. As of the end of 2019, there were over 500 medical institutions approved for the practice of human assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment in China[2]. The new model through digitalized management process of assisted reproduction is likely to be widely used in those medical institutions, which will be helpful with the disparity of assisted reproductive technology among different areas in China and improve the success rate of assisted reproduction. It would bring value to Assisted Reproductive Centres as well as clinicians, embryologists and families.

Yun Xin, President of Huchuang Union said, “With AI theories and models maturing gradually, those technologies are widely used in various fields of healthcare. AI applications in the field of assisted reproduction have achieved initial results. With the increasing amount of infertility each year, how to better provide optimal treatment solutions through AI application technology and improve the effectiveness of reproductive centers, so as to bring happy life to the vast number of infertile patients is of great significance. In order to deeply explore this field, we set up a team composing members with doctors’ and master’s degree from prestigious domestic universities a few years ago, worked closely with many universities in China to develop AI products and applications in the field of assisted reproduction, and obtained some research achievements. With the cooperation with Merck China Innovation Hub, we hope to further accelerate the application and transformation of AI technology, apply AI to assisted reproduction rapidly and widely, provide more accurate and convenient intelligent solutions for Reproductive Medicine Centers, and bring benefits to more families.”

Merck China Innovation Hub is committed to the forward-looking innovation fields between and beyond the current businesses of Merck, such as AI-enabled health solutions, organoids, liquid biopsy technologies, bioelectronics, clean meat and neuromorphic systems. AI-enabled health solutions is In-China-for-China focused field, as the rapid development of AI, big data, mobile communication in China in recent years has promoted the transformation of traditional healthcare into smart healthcare. Merck continuously explore the strategically important market of China with open innovation, develop innovation technologies and speed up innovation projects by leveraging the expertise of Merck and collaborators, to bring impact in China and globally.


  1. Zhou, Z, Zheng, D, Wu, H, Li, R, Xu, S, Kang, Y, Cao, Y, Chen, X, Zhu, Y, Xu, S, Chen, Z‐J, Mol, BW, Qiao, J. Epidemiology of infertility in China: a population‐based study. BJOG 2018; 125: 432– 441.
  2. 中华人民共和国国家卫生健康委员会,经批准开展人类辅助生殖技术和设置人类精子库的医疗机构名单,2020年4月21日

About Merck Innovation Hub China

As an important part of Merck’s global innovation network, the China Innovation Hub scouts, incubates and invests in innovative opportunities in healthcare, life science, performance materials and related fields between and beyond the existing businesses. Embedded into China’s innovation ecosystem, Merck Innovation Hub China is committed to partnering with start-ups, academic institutions, industry players and local governments, combining unique technology and expertise from Merck Group and collaborators with the goal to develop novel technology and bring new solutions to the market for China and global. The China Innovation Hub also provides support of ideation, incubation and trainings to local talents, partners and Merck employees to build win-win collaboration. For more information, please visit http://innovateinchina.merckgroup.com.

About Huchuang Union

Wuhan Huchuang Union Technology Co., Ltd. is a leading company providing intelligent software, hardware and equipment in assisted reproduction field. The company is committed to becoming an intelligent solution provider in the field of assisted reproduction, and its products and services covered numerous assisted reproductive centers across the country. At present, Huchuang Union has more than 60% market share in the field of assisted reproduction intelligent hardware and software, serving more than 300 third-level hospitals nationwide. The company has independently developed products with strong professional R&D personnel and capacity in software, hardware, mobile medical and artificial intelligence. Huchuang Union was granted New High-tech Enterprise of Hubei Province, Gazelle Enterprise of 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the 10th batch of “3551” entrepreneurial talent, Innovative and Entrepreneurial Enterprise of Hubei Province, Wuhan “Yellow Crane Talent”. For more information, please visit http://www.huchuang.com/

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