The relationship between and Clínica Tambre is becoming more and more consolidated. We both share the same ideals regarding the patient’s right to be well informed of all the options available when undergoing assisted reproduction treatment. For this reason, we have decided to interview Jacob Dejewski, CEO of Egg Donation Friends, in order to get to know his vision of the fertility sector, to discover how EDF was founded and to hear his thoughts on the mission that Clínica Tambre carries out.
How did the opportunity to create Egg Donation Friends arise?
EggDonationFriends.com was created by a group of friends who struggled with infertility and had their first IVF experience abroad. At that time information about IVF online was rather skimp and that is how the idea of an online platform was born. EggDonationFriends soon developed into a one-stop shop for egg donation patients seeking a clinic outside their home country. Our services for patients are free. Today we have a solid, passionate and experienced team and we also work with IVF experts, authors and fertility professionals from around the world. By sharing our knowledge on IVF egg donation with patients, we believe we can help them make better choices.
Since the start of the project until today, what do you think have been the greatest innovations or changes within the assisted reproduction sector?
Since 1978 when the first IVF baby was born there have been many changes in the field of ART. In the 1985 European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) was created and it almost instantly contributed to the development of the industry, through exchange of experience, training, and cooperation between specialists and clinics.
The revolution included not only assisted reproduction technologies, but also social, cultural, legal, and ethical responses to IVF and infertility. We have seen a rise of new trends and treatments like mitochondrial transfer (so called “three parent baby”), the use of face recognition software applied to the process or selecting a donor, fertility preservation before cancer treatment or the advance of PGT (preimplantation genetic testing). However, I think the biggest change has happened in the sociocultural sector. IVF patients are more aware of their options, they make careful and well-thought-out decisions when it comes to selecting an IVF clinic. There is also more healthy “buzz” in social media about infertility and IVF as they slowly cease to be taboo topics. Assisted reproduction is starting to be seen as a treatment like any other. I think we still need to talk about it openly to spread awareness and understanding.
When we talk about the greatest changes in the medical tourism sector, we mustn’t forget about other accelerators: the development of the Internet, the advent of low-cost airlines and the introduction of EU regulations creating the common European aviation market in the early 1990s. The Internet and the invention of WWW in 1993 enabled people to find information about treatments abroad in their native language. European IVF clinics were finally able to communicate their offer online and started to cater for foreign patients. What’s more, flying abroad has become cheaper and widely accessible thanks to budget airlines and new airports throughout Europe. I think all this has had a huge impact on the development of the ART sector.
What are the requisites you keep in mind when it comes to choosing a clinic for your platform?
The main requirement for a clinic to be listed on our platform is to supply complete and true information about their clinic. Among crucial data the clinics need to provide their safety and clinical standards description, accreditations, pricing and egg donation program details. Transparency is our main priority. The clinic profiles which are published on our site contain information that is confirmed as true by the clinics’ directors. As you probably noticed, all clinic profiles have the same structure – in the end of the day what matters for patients is the quality of the treatment, patient care and the cost.
We also issue Trusted Clinic certificates. They are awarded only to clinics that are the most trustworthy and credible. When patients choose a clinic with a Trusted Certificate, they can be sure they are in safe hands.
We like to think of EggDonationFriends.com as a part of movement to bring a change in how fertility clinics think and how they approach their patients. That is why we support full transparency when it comes to clinics’ offer and the ways in which they present it.
Why do we focus on the above? Clinics do not always publish complete data on their websites and only some fertility associations provide data about clinics registered with them. But those who share the data are still in the minority. Egg Donation Friends aims to list only those clinics which are fully transparent and willing to share their data with patients. We are currently taken a giant step in this direction. We will offer patients new clinic profiles that will contain even more practical and valuable information. In other words, Egg Donation Friends is becoming the only source for reliable IVF clinics which allows to compare the clinics from different countries.
What was your objective in creating the idea of the IVF CLINIC AWARDS?
The idea to create IVF CLINIC AWARDS came from the previous CEO, Boris Becker. The objective behind the awards was twofold. First of all, we need to remember that our platform (EggDonationFriends.com) has been created for patients. In the online world of data overload and unverified information, we wanted the IVF CLINIC AWARDS to be a guiding beacon for patients seeking fertility treatment and transparent information. We want patients to know that the award-winning clinics have outstanding results, provide quality treatment and care and that they are worth considering for their IVF treatment abroad. Secondly, our other objective is to promote best medical practices and dynamize healthy competition in assisted reproduction field. We have received valuable feedback from various clinics saying that the awards motivate them and increase the morale of their staff. We also need to remember about all the people who work for the clinic: not only doctors and embryologists, but also nurses, patient coordinators and midwives. The IVF CLINIC AWARDS show that their hard work is being recognized and that the staff can be proud of working at an internationally awarded clinic.
It has been an honour for us to have been granted the “Innovations” and “Egg Donation Program” awards. Why is the Egg Donation Program considered the most important award?
Egg donation is the main focus of our activities. We do realise it is not a standard IVF treatment. For many couples, moving from own eggs to donor eggs is a huge step and a decision that requires a lot of thought. It also requires the clinic to skilfully manage the egg bank, coordinate donors and recipients so that every cycle goes smoothly. The awards in other categories, for example Innovations or Personalized Treatment, are equally important and carry their own value.
What aspects of Clínica Tambre did you consider when it came to awarding us with the previously mentioned awards and including us in your list of clinics?
We have carefully evaluated your Egg Donation program offer, egg bank capacities, egg donation success rates and multiple pregnancy rates. We also took into consideration that Clinica Tambre works with Healthcare Ethics Committee that ensures ethical practice and maintaining high success rates using ethical and non-risky treatments. As for the Innovations award, we looked at the innovative approach and technology Clinica Tambre uses. We evaluated your incubation equipment, security technology used for handling biological samples and specialized facial biometric recognition software, Fenomatch which has been receiving very positive feedback from patients who are interested in advanced donor matching.