Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston are using smartphones in their lab testing technology that could help millions of men struggling with infertility.
"I think this device can be as simple as a home pregnancy test for a woman," said Hadi Shafiee of Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The technology uses an attachment that connects to a cellphone and a disposable microchip. The patient then runs an app to measure the concentration and movement of the sperm sample. A new study looked at 350 samples and found it delivers precise results.
"This smartphone-based semen analyzer can identify abnormal semen samples," Shafiee said. "With 98 percent accuracy."
Any previous history of samples can also be stored in the phone. Shafiee hopes this option will someday make fertility testing for men a much easier and less awkward experience.
"They have to provide the samples in specific hospital rooms under so much stress and embarrassment, so we wanted to come up with a technology to enable home-based infertility screening," Shafiee said.
It could be some time before men can put the technology to use. Researchers plan additional testing and then will file for FDA approval.
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