Spermcount? There’s an app for that

sperm cells
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Research published in the International Journal of Social and Humanistic Computing discusses the potential for a smartphone application that can be used in conjunction with a microscope attachment that might allow a physician to assess a man’s fertility much more quickly than is usually possible. The system might even be used by the man himself given sufficient information and guidance. The counting technique segregates live sperm from background noise on the basis of the constant movement, motility of active sperm in a sample.

Hyun-Mo Yang, Dong-Woo Lim, Yong-Sik Choi, Jin-Gu Kang, In-Hwan Kim, Ailing Lin, and Jin-Woo Jung of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Dongguk University, in Seoul, South Korea, explain that experimental results have already demonstrated the effectiveness of their procedure.

“Experimental results with grade A, B and C sperm images based on WHO [World Health Organization] criteria show that each grade sperm image could be effectively categorized by using the proposed sperm counting algorithm. This result could be directly used for the development of consumer device which can classify the health condition of user sperms based on WHO criteria,” the team writes.

They add that while the approach utilizes sperm motility further research will allow them to develop the algorithm to look at the degree of sperm motility, which will give the man additional information about his fertility as both sperm count and degree of sperm motility are both important factors.


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