Nikon has developed a new microscope that cuts the burdens of embryologists working on fertility treatment, it was learned Wednesday.

The product, to be released Friday and sold through a group company, reduces the number of operational steps involved in intracytoplasmic sperm injection, an in vitro fertilization method, by about 75%.

Nikon developed the product as demand for fertility treatment is growing amid women's advances in society.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a fertilization treatment method in which a sperm is injected into an egg.

While conventional microscopes require the light amount and lens to be adjusted at each of the six major phases of the entire process, the new product allows users to register complicated settings for the phases in advance and switch between registered settings with a button.

To prevent operational errors, the microscope gives a warning on its display if a setting is used that is different from the one already registered.

The share of children born with assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization tends to increase year by year. In 2021, the figure stood at 8.6%, up 1.4 percentage points from a year before.

The number and share of such children are expected to rise further after the treatment became eligible for public health insurance coverage in 2022.

Nikon and Tokyo-based Evident dominate the Japanese market for microscopes for intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

Nikon has been selling microscopes for assisted reproduction for more than 40 years. This is the first time in eight years for the company to release a new model in the category.