Tech

Fertility test with your smartphone

A new smartphone device can analyse a man's sperm quality and let him know in a matter of minutes whether he suffers from infertility, US researchers said on Wednesday.

Infertility affects more than 45 million couples worldwide, and over 40 per cent of fertility problems are due to poor quality sperm, reported AFP.

The technology described in the journal Science Translational Medicine aims to make it easier and cheaper for men to test their sperm at home.

"We wanted to come up with a solution to make male infertility testing as simple and affordable as home pregnancy tests," said co-author Hadi Shafiee, a doctor in the division of engineering in medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The new test "can analyse a video of an undiluted, unwashed semen sample in less than five seconds".

It works by using a combination of an optical attachment that can connect to a smartphone and a disposable device for loading a semen sample, said the report.

It is still in the prototype stage and is not yet available to the public. Researchers are planning additional tests before filing for US Food and Drug Administration approval.