DETROIT (WWJ) – You can use your smart phone to watch cat videos, do your banking and monitor the steps you take each day.
Soon, a phone may be used to test a man’s fertility at home.
WWJ’s Dr. Deanna Lites reports researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a specialized phone attachment that works with an app to count the number of sperm and measure their movement — which are markers for infertility.
How exactly does it work?
“We’re using the optic system within the smart phone to read from a slide that’s prepared with the man’s sperm and gives us basically a count and motility of the semen specimen,” said Dr. John Petrozza, on the research team.
The process is simple.
“The man could collect in a cup,” Petrozza explained. “The app that is built into the smart phone with this device guides the person through the process. You have to let the sperm liquefy for a little bit.
“The slide that’s used has a rubber plunger that will actually drop the exact amount of fluid into the slide, and then the slide is put into a device where the smart phone is attached and then the optics will read the analysis.”
Petrozza says the at-home test has an accuracy rate of 98 percent.
There’s no name for the product just yet, as it’s still in the prototype stage. Researchers hope to have the test approved and on store shelves within the next 18-24 months.