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Use Your Smartphone to Check Your Sperm Count

A new at-home fertility test for men.

ALT WORD

A discreet way to test men’s fertility is being developed and designed by Japanese researcher Dr. Yoshitomo Kobori. And the process is as simple as filming a video.

Using a special app along with a $7 microscopic lens, the new method will require men to record a video of their semen sample using their smartphones. The video file would then sent to a lab for an initial fertility assessment. All this could be from home.

New lenses

Kobori is a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC). Craig Niederberger, the university’s head of urology, has praised Kobori for his work.

In a press release, Niederberger called Kobori’s simple lens design, which could help tackle embarrassment and anxiety surrounding fertility assessment, “stunning.”

“When you can put pieces together in new ways to solve a problem—and when you can do that with something that’s inexpensive and readily available, then you’ve done something that’s really great,” Niederberger said.

At this time, the lens is not yet available for smartphones.

“The lens is not made for a smartphone,” Kobori said. “It was made nine years ago. I’m improving the lens and thinking about how to attach it to a smartphone and analyze sperm.”

Kobori’s future

Along with a microscopic lens, Kobori and UIC are also working to develop better containers for semen samples. Kobori’s new containers will use an antioxidant to help preserve sperm when it’s frozen, and will allow for better results after thawing.

After Kobori’s time as a visiting scholar ends at UIC, he plans to move back to Japan and focus on treating male infertility.

Image source: UIC

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