Men may soon be using their iPads to test their fertility if a gadget produced by Taiwanese start-up Aidmics gets U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
The gadget, called iSperm, is an in-home tester consisting of a minute microscope and backlight that attaches to an ipad camera. It works by placing a sperm sample in the device with an associated app containing a logarithm which analyzes sperm motility and count. The whole process, not counting the time needed to collected the sperm sample, takes 17 seconds.
There is also provision for an HD quality video recording of the sperm which can be sent via the web to fertility experts for analysis, or used in "home movies" of a person's life from near conception to whenever and whatever an occasion such a video is deemed suitable for.
The device has already been used for livestock sperm analysis with 200 Taiwanese farmers taking part in field tests.
If iSperm receives FDA approval, Aidmics hopes to sell the device at a price point between $100 and $200.
According to the Aidmics website, what sets iSperm apart from other at-home sperm-measuring kits is the ease of the whole process.
"Morphological assessment of sperm head and tail has never been this easy," reads the website.
Aidmics founder Agean Lin said iSperm would be a useful first step for couples seeking to conceive, He said near instant, in-home sperm analysis could quickly tell a couple if there could be problems with sperm motility, allowing them to prepare for this.
The iSperm isn’t the only medical testing device that uses a mobile camera. Researchers at UC Berkeley researchers have been testing a device called the Cellscope which uses smartphone cameras to detect parasitic worms in blood samples.