The smartphone as a tool to help the doctor fight against male infertility? That is something we would have never thought of!
So there is an app and a kit, that can discover the first signs of alteration in sperm thanks to a reliability of 90%, it also helps to overcome the shame of the traditional exam as it is highly personal and secret.
The kit has long been at the center of some research by prestigious centers such as the Harvard Medical School in Boston, the University of Chicago and Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital in Japan, for which “the smartphone app system represents an easy method to use. It is also fast, automated and inexpensive”.
Sperm concentration, linear, curvilinear motility and velocities are detected thanks to the mobile phone, which also performs an analysis of the image on the phone, using a sperm sample loaded into a low-cost disposable micro-fluidic device. Together with a modular wireless scale, apps and kits also provide seed volume, total sperm count and total mobile sperm count.
“It is a test that neither wants nor needs to replace control by a specialist, but it can be a sort of mass screening otherwise very difficult to perform,” says Professor Ermanno Greco, Scientific Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine European Hospital of Rome.
Male infertility is steadily increasing: in the world it concerns over 45 million couples. “It is estimated that, on a global scale, up to 12% of men will have fertility problems over the course of their lives,” Professor Greco points out. Indeed, it must be said that the number of sperm from 1970 to today has halved”. Many factors are responsible: such as air pollution, smoking, lifestyles, but surely the absence of prevention, previously carried out during the conscription visit. “But it is important to intervene early on some pathologies such as cryptorchidism and varicocele”.