Do you need to test your semen for levels of fertility? Well, now there’s an app for that. Soon, men will be able to use a smartphone app to measure their sperm count and fertility.
Scientists from Shafiee Laboratory at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School have developed a device that easily attaches to a smartphone and analyzes sperm quality with up to 98 percent accuracy.
Sperm abnormalities are estimated to contribute to around half of infertility cases, but researchers note that many men never get tested due to stigmas or lack of access. The team of scientist hopes this device, which costs a total of $4.45 to make, will allow men to test their fertility without any embarrassment or shame.
Dr. Hadi Shafiee, who led the work, said, “We wanted to come up with a solution to make male infertility testing as simple and affordable as home pregnancy tests.”
The app works by using the phone’s camera lens, an accessory case and a disposable kit used to collect a man’s sperm sample. A microchip with the sample is inserted into the attachment and works with phone’s camera to magnify and illuminate a short video of the sperm. The app then uses and algorithm to track sperm movement and the total number of sperm.
The new technology is planned to hit the market in a few years, after additional testing and FDA approval.
Photo: DarkoStojanovic, CC-BY
Jane Snyder is a health intern with Paste and a freelance writer and photojournalist based out of Athens, Georgia.