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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Jonathan Hall


South Australian Dr Jonathan Hall invented and commercialised an artificial intelligence imaging method that dramatically improves embryo selection for successful IVF pregnancy.

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Hall was last week named a member of InDaily’s 40 Under 40 for 2019 and also won the Entrepreneurial Award, presented by William Buck.

His cloud-based web application product Life Whisperer – linked to his artificial intelligence-driven medical imaging platform Presagen – allows clinicians to drag and drop microscope images of a patient’s embryos into a web browser and instantly receive a report as to the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.

The technique, which combines deep-learning and computer-vision, has been shown to consistently improve embryo selection performance over world-leading clinicians by more than 30 per cent.

A clinical trial has also demonstrated the technology was able to identify embryos with Down Syndrome with above-80 per cent accuracy.

Hall has PhDs in both Embryo Nanotechnology and Theoretical / Computational Physics.

The 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurial Award is the latest in a series of awards Hall and his companies have received.

Life Whisperer was Global Winner in the ‘Best Idea – One to Watch’ Talent Unleashed Awards in 2017 and was the South Australian iAwards Startup of the Year.

Hall has also been recognised an honouree in the MIT Technology Review and EmTech Asia list of 10 innovators under 35.

Hall argues South Australia is poised to become Australia’s Silicon Valley.

He answers InDaily‘s questions below.

What is the single most important lesson you have learnt in your business career so far?

Continue holding on to your view despite external appearances, because consistency is what ultimately determines success.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

SA will become Australia’s version of Silicon Valley. We have so much talent here, and already, other states outsource technical skill such as machine-learning and AI to SA in order to assist their businesses. With the construction of Lot Fourteen, SA is now poised to achieve integration across disciplines and industries by working together. Those networks coupled with the already-formidable talent of the state is what makes SA the up-and-coming place to be for new technologies, inspiration and innovation.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

SA was lagging behind economically because our great talent, research and technology outcomes often move elsewhere in order to commercialise them. We really need to ‘close the loop’ so that those fruits can be circled back to help the next generation of state industry leaders, researchers and entrepreneurs, with liquidity events and new investment into our problem track-record of awesome ideas.

Do you see your future in South Australia? 


How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Right now, anyone who stays in SA is ahead of the curve, in investing their time into a place that is up-and-coming (on the commercial side) where previously SA only dominated in the area of research and tech outcomes. That lack of jobs drove people away, looking for an easier option for employment, and lending their skills to bolster other economies. Now, we need to send the message that the future is here in SA, and those who expend their efforts here will be those that help build that economy, and will get an early foot in the door to receive the benefits of being one of the first.


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