According to the CDC, about 11 percent of couples looking to conceive will have difficulty doing so. Infertility can be both a tough and extremely painful reality for some, and many have turned to technology for help. Even Kim Kardashian openly documented undergoing IVF and seeing multiple doctors on the last season of KUWTK. For others, smartphone apps have been the answer. Recently, there’s been an uptick in mobile health app usage, with fertility apps ranking as the second most popular downloads next to fitness apps. While infertility is incorrectly still considered a predominantly female-related issue, in a third of these cases, men are actually the sole or contributing cause.
Enter iSperm, pioneered by Taiwanese biotech company Aidmics, a new kind of fertility app that aims to make comprehensive at-home fertility testing a reality. Originally conceived and currently in use to aid in livestock breeding, the company has plans to crack into the human fertility market by next year.
iSperm uses an iPad app and an optical lens attachment to evaluate the concentration and motility of sperm within a sample. According to their site, you can receive an analysis in 17 seconds — that’s seven seconds of video recording and 10 seconds of analysis. iSperm uses an image processing algorithm to evaluate the competence of the sperm. Currently, iSperm is estimated to be used by over 200 farms around the world. In the article by the Sydney Morning Herald, a livestock farm manager in central Taiwan gauged a 20 percent increased pregnancy success rate since the farm began utilizing the app.
While iSperm is not the first to attempt at an at-home male fertility test (the SpermCheck Fertility test was released in 2012), it is by far the most in-depth, as it will give a cell count, percentage of motility and concentration count in its analysis. Currently, at-home male fertility tests measure only if one’s sperm count is low or normal. Check out their video below.
For the couple who hopes to conceive, an app could someday be part of the answer.
Would you and your partner be interested in trying out this kind of at-home fertility app? Tell us in the comments below!
(h/t Sydney Morning Herald, photos via iSperm)