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Dr Ashish Kale | Director | Ashakiran Hospital and ASHA IVF CENTER

Hospitals complement and amplify the effectiveness of many other parts of the health system, providing continuous availability of services for acute and complex conditions. They concentrate scarce resources within well-planned referral networks to respond efficiently to population health needs.

Today, hospitals are playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives; with great pollution levels and changing lifestyles, more and more people are falling prey to diseases and requiring adequate medical care.

Hospitals matter to people and often mark central points in their lives. They also matter to health systems by being instrumental in care coordination and integration. They often provide a setting for the education of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals and are a critical base for clinical research.

Back in 1975, Ashakiran Hospital was established in the heart of Pune with the sole purpose of delivering standardized healthcare. In 2000, the health institution made its first foray into the realm of IVF.

Under the adept leadership of Dr Ashish Kale, Ashakiran Hospital has built its top-notch IVF facility with the express purpose of offering affordable IVF to all needy people around the nation. Moreover, the health center adheres to ensuring the excellent quality of its care in any way, including through the use of facilities like D5 embryo transfer, laser hatching, and gamete freezing.

Below are highlights of the interview with Dr Ashish that represent how Ashakiran Hospital is improving the fertilization process by adopting the most advanced reproductive technology and changing many lives.

Enlighten our readers about Ashakiran Hospital’s offerings and what aspects make it stand out in the healthcare industry.

The cost at which we offer IVF cycles is very minimal; we have even offered free cycles to patients with the orange card or below the BPL line, and Kita points to offering at least one free cycle a month after going through all the documents of the patient and after saying that it is a very genuine case. We have also offered free semen storage for army personnel because of their commitment to our country, which is much greater than ours as doctors.

With ever-evolving technological marvels, how is your organization providing the most recent fertility treatments, especially when it comes to catering to the healthcare space’s dynamic needs?

As you rightly said, healthcare is moving in leaps and bounds and progressing towards establishing a better standard of care. Keeping up with this space, our lab has recently installed the benchtop inch, which gives you a 100% blastocyst rate, which is nothing but a D5 embryo. We also have the latest laser hatching facility, which is used for implantation file cases or in difficult circumstances when you feel that the blastocyst may not hatch.

We have used microfluidics to the best of its ability to get a good sperm count and low mortality in cases of OATS, which is oligospermia, and then ozoospermia, which are again difficult cases to treat.

We have moved towards doing a single embryo transfer, which ensures pregnancy in the patient even after we transfer one embryo, and this also gives the patient a chance to store more embryos for a future embryo transfer attempt or even for a second pregnancy.

Being an experienced leader, can you share your opinion on how adopting modern technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is impacting the healthcare industry and how your organization is adapting to this change?

We have Artificial Intelligence in IVF or test tube babies as well, where the Artificial Intelligence software actually chooses the best of the embryos, giving you a high implantation rate and a higher clinical pregnancy rate, and there is also a sperm nanobot that has recently entered the picture, which selects the best possible sperm among millions of sperm with a higher possibility of fertilizing the egg and giving you a good embryo that is going to be implanted.

We were among the first IVF centers to do a large study on the use of this artificial intelligence, Erykah, to decide the embryo for embryo transfer, and we were successful in giving pregnancy to about 90% of the cases. This result increased from a baseline success rate of 60% because of the implementation of artificial intelligence. However, this system still has a little while to come into routine practice because of the cost involved, the accessibility, the ability, and the acceptance.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the healthcare sector?

Always follow your conviction. Be very ethical in your practice, adapt to newer technologies, and always practice evidence-based medicine that is layered with your experience. This is definitely a very rewarding sector.

The joy that you can give to these childless couples is unmatched, believe me. The day any parent comes to me with a baby on their bum or maybe in their hands, the joy is unsure because in our country, we still believe in families, and it is still a closed culture.

How do you envision scaling your organization’s operations and offerings in 2022 and beyond?

Well, after COVID hit in 2020, we were all stagnant and taken for a toss. I was also thinking that where this will leave the health sector is up for grabs, but two years after COVID, I see that this field is expanding massively. Because we now see a lot of patients suffering from Support Litti, the demand for infertility centers has increased. Patna Oda female Patna people are now more open about their problems; they have better access to healthcare workers, and it is a very good sign when people approach us at the right time because, when we have time on our hands, we can give them the best treatment. In fact, this has given us a chance to reflect on how the world has moved to an online platform, which has reduced distances. I myself manage more than half of my centers online now, so it has become very easy to expand to reach out to the centers across the globe and to deliver the same kind of treatment everywhere.

The Adept Leader

Dr. Ashish Kale founded Asha IVF Centre in 2009 after training at world-class facilities such as the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, and NUH in Singapore. Instead of staying there, he left behind a lucrative career to return to Pune and share whatever knowledge he had gained from these world-class centers. He established IVF centers in the city of Pune, and from there the journey of expansion started.

He is now leading over 10 IVF centers in India, where he imparts his clinical knowledge. He was also the driving force behind the establishment of Arunachal Pradesh’s first IVF lab. This was the first of its kind, and he delivered the state of Arunachal Pradesh’s first test tube baby.

Dr. Ashish is also an elected executive member of many national and international organizations like ISAR, the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction; he is the librarian of the same association; and he is also the elected executive member of the Maharashtra state chapter of ISAR, IAGE. He is also heading the national family welfare committee of FOGSI, which is an association that represents around 23,000 gynecologists all over the country.

He practices various unique protocols in his IVF center, which have increased the success rate to the tune of 60 to 70%. He is also one of the leading pioneers in ND5 embryo transfer, laser hatching, cryopreservation of gametes, social freezing of eggs, and the freezing of semen and eggs in cancer patients.

When Dr. Ashish returned from the United States, he came back with the sole intention of providing these world-class facilities to his people in Pune at a very low cost; he worked very hard to tune down these protocols to the pockets of the people here in Pune, while not compromising on the results or the protocols.

He did not stop there; he has multiple national and international publications to his credit. Vichara’s original studies, the most recent of which is the progesterone-primed ovarian stimulation protocol, have drastically reduced the cost of these IVF cycles. He has published this study in an international journal, and this is now accepted worldwide, so he is not only a very good Clean Nation app, but he is also an academician of excellence.

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