Check Your Sperm Count w/ Your Smartphone??
For the prospective dads out there that are looking to reproduce via surrogate (or maybe the old fashioned way--we don't know your life!), this may be of interest to you. Or maybe you're just curious about your motility?
A new smart phone app will allow you to measure your sperm count at home!
Led by Hadi Shafiee, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who works on developing new tools for patient care, researchers have developed a rapid infertility diagnostic tool that attaches to a smartphone.
The phone attachment works with a smartphone app the researchers created to count the number of sperm and measure motility, which are markers for infertility.
The process is fairly simple. First, you load a small amount of a semen sample onto a disposable microchip. Then you put the microchip into the cell phone attachment through a slot. The attachment turns the phone's camera into a microscope.
After the sample is loaded, you run the app, which allows the user to see a video of the sample. Then hit record, and the app analyzes the video to identify sperm cells and track their movements.
At no point does semen touch the smartphone.
Allow us to reiterate: your semen is NOT supposed to touch the smartphone.
The device costs about $5 to make in the lab. This low cost could help provide much-need infertility care in developing nations, which often lack the resources for currently available diagnostics.
Shafiee says the next steps are getting FDA approval, starting a company, and beginning mass production of the devices. "I am confident that this can go to customers at below 50.00 dollars when it is ready" says Shafiee.
Gotta love technology.