Image credit – Hadi Shafiee/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Our smartphones are basically tiny computers that live inside of our pockets. They let us communicate with the world, control our smart home appliances, play games, enjoy virtual worlds, so it really doesn’t come as a surprise that it could also be used for medical and health purposes.

This is exactly what a group of researchers at the Harvard Medical School have done as they have created an app that can apparently measure a man’s sperm count. Led by Hadi Shafiee, this app will work together with a diagnostic tool that is attached to your smartphone, which is similar to other devices we’ve seen in the past that can measure a person’s blood alcohol level.

How it works is simple: the user will have to put a small amount of semen onto a disposable microchip, and the microchip is then put inside the phone’s attachment through a slot which basically turns your phone’s camera into a microscope. After which users just need to run the app and the app will analyze the video to identify sperm cells and track their movements.

This could lead to the creation of home testing kits that are relatively affordable and easy to use. The researchers say that the device costs about $5 to make inside of a lab, which means that should it become commercialized it shouldn’t be too expensive. According to Shafiee, he estimates that it should cost customers under $50 for if and when it is ready for purchase.

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