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New Device Accurately Tests Male Fertility With Smart Phone

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So you like this guy you're seeing a lot, so much so that you could see yourself having BABIES with him.

Obviously, you want to make sure he's capable of providing you with said babies before you're in too deep.

Back in the stone ages (AKA, like, yesterday), you would have to go to a doctor's office so they can use equipment that costs almost $100,000 to accurately test for fertility.

Jovo Jovanovic

But we, my friends, are living in the future, where anything can be done with our iPhones for basically no money.

Now, there's a new device that will test your partner's sperm concentration with 98 percent accuracy, and you can attach it to your smartphone.

The device costs $5 to make, and the genius woman behind it, Hadi Shafiee, a professor of engineering in medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, suspects it will be available to consumers for less than 50 bucks.

That's a whole lot less than $100,000.

So how does it work? Allow me to explain.

The device has two parts. One is a box-like piece that attaches to your phone and sort of looks like one of those big phone cases that also charges your phone. The other piece is a small chip the size of a microscope slide.

Hadi Shafiee/Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

In order to test his sperm, your man basically uses a pipette (a small tube) to transfer his semen onto the chip. Then, the chip goes into a slot in the bigger box.

The box has lenses that turn your phone's camera into a microscope, allowing it to get a magnified look at the sample.

An app you download along with the device then looks at the image taken by the microscope and counts the total number of sperm, finds their concentration per millimeter and detects their speed and movement.

That last part about detecting their speed is pretty key in making the device as accurate as it is.

You see, over-the-counter sperm checkers are available right now. But according to Shafiee, they don't accurately determine a man's fertility because they only measure concentration, not how quickly or how well the sperm moves.

M.K Kanakasabapathy et al, Science Translational Medicine

Researchers even had untrained users test the device with 350 semen samples, and those users were able to detect abnormal sperm with the device with 98 percent accuracy.

NPR reports the device is currently only made for Androids, and Shafiee is working on making one that also works for iPhones.

While it's not yet available in stores, she hopes, one day, it will be easily accessible to everyone: "This device is going to make male infertility screening as simple as home pregnancy tests for a woman."

Citations: There Is Now An App for Sperm Testing (Live Science), A Smartphone Can Accurately Test Sperm Count (NPR)