Friday, April 29, 2016

Free iOS app to help you manage your IVF treatment

MyFertilityDiary , a free app for your iPhone, will help you manage your IVF treatment.

IVF treatment can be complex and confusing , since it involves taking injections daily; doing scans and blood tests; and going to the doctor regularly to check on your progress. It needs a lot of coordination and monitoring , and you cannot afford to mess up. The complexity can be overwhelming, because there are so many things happening at the same time. You need to know in advance what is going to happen when, so you can plan your IVF schedule. If you forget your medicines or miss your appointments , you may end up causing your cycle to fail, which can be a major disaster !
Most fertility apps available today are just basic ovulation trackers , which are useful for normal women who have no fertility issues. All they do is help you track your fertile time and plan baby making sex time.

MyFertilityDiary is much more !

The unique heart of the app is the IVF Treatment Calendar. This has schedules for the commonest IVF treatment protocols, including the following:

Long downregulation with Lupron
Short downregulation
Antagonist cycle
Natural cycle
Frozen thaw
Minimal stimulation IVF

All you need to do is to select your prtocol and enter the day your cycle starts ( Day 1), and My Fertility Diary will automagically and intelligently fill in your IVF schedule for you !

You can edit and modify this schedule , so that you can follow the exact treatment protocol as prescribed by your doctor. Your IVF doctor will be very impressed when he sees how well organised you are, thanks to this app !

The app is designed around a Calendar , which allows you to organize your life. You can set alarms and reminders, so you remember your appointments and your medications.

Becoming a well-informed and organised IVF patient will improve your chances of getting pregnant !
You can download the app free at

Monday, April 25, 2016

What Amazon India needs to do to delight its customers

Amazon takes pride in its superb customer service, and it's true that they do a great job. I'm happy to vouch for this. I've been a faithful customer and buy practically all my books from Amazon these days.

While Amazon does a stellar job at ensuring direct customer delight, there are many additional ways of doing so by helping their sellers to do a better job at servicing customers via its marketplace. Right now initiatives such as Amazon Tatkal which helps sellers create catalogues through a mobile studio is great. However, there's a lot more they could be doing to make the small shopkeeper - the Indian Baniya and the Patel store owner - more successful. A key approach is to understand all the pain points of the small shopkeeper and develop technology to help them resolve these. The small seller would love to deploy technology to become more efficient, but cannot afford to do so - and this is where Amazon can step in !

Help the Shopkeeper build a brand for themselves.
Ultimately, the more the shopkeepers who go online, the better it will be for the end customer. While some of these transactions will occur through the Amazon marketplace, others will take place on other platforms as well - for example, the shopkeeper's own website.  If Amazon starts providing shopkeepers tools to help them grow, everyone in the ecosystem will benefit! The shopkeeper will get more customers; the customer will be happier because he has a personal relationship with the local shopkeeper; and as the overall volume of business transacted online grows, Amazon's share will grow as well. Technology can allow us to marry the convenience of online shopping with the logistic efficiency of the real world shopkeeper.  High tech with high touch can create customer delight for the shopper.

Educate the seller
Shopkeepers need to move with the times, and they will include their website address on their stationary, to encourage their customers to come back.  After all, they also need technology to compete with the big boys, but don't know how to deploy this in a cost effective fashion. Lots of younger shopkeepers will come up with clever new ways of reaching out to consumers online, so that the boundaries between online and offline will start to disappear for the shopper. These clever home-grown innovations can be shared with other shopkeepers, thus allowing them to scale up organically.

Right now, shopkeepers may think of Amazon as being a threat to them. However, one they find that they order volume improves because they can leverage the online marketplace, they will be happy to cooperate with Amazon, thus creating a win -win for all the players in the ecosystem.

Provide a Technology Boost
Amazon could not only help shop keepers to create their own apps, they can provide them with digital tools to catalog and track their inventory and integrate it with a POS system. They could possibly partner with solutions like Primaseller to help them in this endeavor.

Provide Consulting
Amazon India could appoint a Seller Delight Officer, whose job it is to help small retailers to thrive. His job will be to understand what the retailer's pain points are, and provide solutions for them - all the way from, "How do I manage to create an accurate inventory of all my products? How do I digitize it? How can I get accounting integrated with my inventory? How do I tie this in with logistics? How do I train my assistants in customer service?". All this is stuff which Amazon has a great understanding of, because they do it themselves all the time - after all, they are the world's largest retailer.

How can they develop tools to help the small shopkeeper become as efficient and effective as Amazon, so that each can play to their individual strengths, and jointly create shopper delight is a question they have to smartly answer in order to win this competitive game.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Our IVF babies smarter than babies made in the bedroom ?

I just received this email today.

Our daughter KIMAYA turned 1 year on 15th April. We took her to Singapore to celebrate a very special and memorable birthday which a toddler can enjoy - undivided and uninterrupted attention of both parents mixed with loads of 'first time' fun activities for her.

Got back yesterday and thought of a few people to thank for making this day possible in our lives and the first name was definitely - Dr. Malpani. You are not God, but definitely not meaning anything less than that to us and I am sure to many fortunate parents benefited by your treatment.

Having 'Kimaya' as a daughter has been a blessed 1 year of parenthood journey. She is a gorgeous and intelligent baby (never fails to amuse me with her socio-motor developments ahead of time). Most importantly, she just seems to be as perfect a baby as I ever dreamt of, with handpicked best qualities from both of us. I know you disagree to my thought, but being in medical research for 10 years, I can bet anything on my observation (based on several IVF babies of closely known couples) that IVF produces the BESTEST baby a couple can!!

For the sake of science, do look into it. After all, we defy nature's change of random selection from a large sperm & ova pool and select the best quality raw material for this production !!

And on a very serious note - I have always believed, that God bestowed his divine blessings on us through your blessed hands. From the bottom of my heart, I pray to God to empower your hands with immense healing powers and no couple shall return fortuneless from your doors ever.

God bless you and all your patients with success always.


While we are happy to take the credit for making super-smart babies, I don't think we t deserve it ! The reality is that IVF babies have a headstart over other babies, because their parents dote on them , and lavish so much love and energy on them. I agree they are truly blessed !

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The IVF specialist's quandary

One of the problems I still grapple with, even after 25 years of doing IVF, is how optimistic to be with my patients. It's always a hard call, because while it's easy to be hopeful, I'm worried that if I'm excessively optimistic , patients will start assuming they will definitely get pregnant , especially when they have great quality blastocysts; a good endometrium, and a smooth transfer. However, if they don't get pregnant ( and because this is a biological variable and IVF is full of uncertainty, we still can't predict for the individual patient whether or not a particular cycle will work for her), my fear is that they'll go to pieces , and it'll be very hard for them to cope with their broken heart and their shattered expectations.

This is why I try to be as realistic as possible , and explain to them that there's a good chance that they will get pregnant, but they need to be prepared for failure.

Lots of patients don't like this. They feel I'm being too negative, and too pessimistic. Most patients want a doctor who's all pumped up , and who charges them up - someone who provides them with a lot of optimism and support. Many patients believe that being hopeful increases their chance of getting pregnant.

It's not hard for me to smile and be cheerful  - I am an optimist by nature. However, I do need to think about the long-term consequences, so that if I'm excessively optimistic and the cycle fails, and then the patient comes back and asks me, "Doctor, you said everything was going well, so why did the cycle fail," and how can I answer the question at that point?

This is why I try to prepare patients as best as I can , so that they know that even though we've done our best, the final outcome is not in our hands. We educate them about the process itself , so they have peace of mind they have received high quality care.

The problem is that there are lots of different kind of patients we have to treat.  Some are intelligent, some are educated, and some aren't. It's very hard to know how to individualize the degree of optimism for each patient - and how to titrate the information  and the way I provide it to these patients.

The problem is that one size can't fit all, but it's very difficult to know what the individual patient sitting in front of me needs. This is a challenge which I still struggle with. I want to give my patients hope, but the one thing I don't want to do is to  give them false hope - and this is a hard balance to find.


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