As male infertility increases each year, a new study has shown that a new smartphone attachment can evaluate a man's semen and determine his level of fertility with an accuracy of 98%.
Scientists say this new technology which consists of an external accessory where sperm samples are inserted and an app analyses them, could make testing as straightforward as a home pregnancy test. This new form of testing will make infertility testing easier and cheaper for men, and without the need to go to clinics. Dr. Hadi Shafiee, assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and who led the study said, “Fertility is a big problem. ... Men are embarrassed to go to their urologist for infertility testing.
"Adding, "This is going to be the first fully automated device to make infertility testing as simple as home pregnancy tests for women.” Shafiee explained that “the test works using a combination of hardware and software technology, with a disposable kit and chip used to collect a man's sperm sample.
Samples are inserted into the chip, which is in turn inserted into an accessory case containing lenses and an LED to illuminate and magnify the sample for capture by the phone's camera. The lenses align with the phone's camera.” The app on the devices then measures the motility and concentration of the sperm.
Shafiee said that "the results don't mean that if there is a negative result, the person is infertile,” and "there could be enough for IVF or other treatment technologies." This device will be available in the next few years and the scientists believe that this technology is inexpensive and would be beneficial in developing countries.