Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘smart phone’


Sperm Analysis by Smart Phone

Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Low sperm count and motility are markers for male infertility, a condition that is actually a neglected health issue worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have developed a very low cost device that can attach to a cell phone and provides a quick and easy semen analysis. The device is still under development, but a study of the machine’s capabilities concludes that it is just as accurate as the elaborate high cost computer-assisted semen analysis machines costing tens of thousands of dollars in measuring sperm concentration, sperm motility, total sperm count and total motile cells.

 

The Harvard team isn’t the first to develop an at-home fertility test for men, but they are the first to be able to determine sperm concentration as well as motility. The scientists compared the smart phone sperm tracker to current lab equipment by analyzing the same semen samples side by side. They analyzed over 350 semen samples of both infertile and fertile men. The smart phone system was able to identify abnormal sperm samples with 98 percent accuracy. The results of the study were published in the journal named Science Translational Medicine.

 

The device uses an optical attachment for magnification and a disposable microchip for handling the semen sample. With two lenses that require no manual focusing and an inexpensive battery, it slides onto the smart phone’s camera. Total cost for manufacturing the equipment: $4.45, including $3.59 for the optical attachment and 86 cents for the disposable micro-fluidic chip that contains the semen sample.

 

The software of the app is designed with a simple interface that guides the user through the test with onscreen prompts. After the sample is inserted, the app can photograph it, create a video and report the results in less than five seconds. The test results are stored on the phone so that semen quality can be monitored over time. The device is under consideration for approval from the Food and Drug Administration within the next two years.

 

With this device at home, a man can avoid the embarrassment and stress of providing a sample in a doctor’s clinic. The device could also be useful for men who get vasectomies, who are supposed to return to the urologist for semen analysis twice in the six months after the procedure. Compliance is typically poor, but with this device, a man could perform his own semen analysis at home and email the result to the urologist. This will make sperm analysis available in the privacy of our home and as easy as a home pregnancy test or blood sugar test.

 

The device costs about $5 to make in the lab and can be made available in the market at lower than $50 initially. This low cost could help provide much-needed infertility care in developing or underdeveloped nations, which often lack the resources for currently available diagnostics.

 

References:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/well/live/sperm-counts-via-your-cellphone.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_hh_20170324&nl=well&nl_art=7&nlid=65713389&ref=headline&te=1&_r=1

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/22/520837557/a-smartphone-can-accurately-test-sperm-count

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28330865

 

http://www.sciencealert.com/new-smartphone-microscope-lets-men-check-the-health-of-their-own-sperm

 

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2097618-are-your-sperm-up-to-scratch-phone-microscope-lets-you-check/

 

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/01/19/yo-fertility-kit-men-test-sperm-count-smartphone-design-technology-apps/

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


Stanford Dropout is Already Drawing Comparisons with Steve Jobs

Larry H Bernstein, MD, Reporter

An interview by Eric Topol on Medscape of a 29 year-old Stanford University dropout is fascinating.

Editor’s Note:

If 29-year-old Elizabeth Holmes has her way, patients will no longer have to go to physicians’ offices, hospitals or laboratories to get high-complexity diagnostic blood tests. Nor will vial after vial of blood draws be necessary to do these tests.

Barely out of the gate after a decade of secrecy, the Stanford dropout is already drawing comparisons with Steve Jobs (she often wears the same black turtleneck). And her company, Theranos, Inc., which emerged from the shadows in September, just might be healthcare’s answer to Apple.[1] The so-called disruptive technology that Ms. Holmes, a former engineering major, and Theranos have created is said to have the potential to shake up and forever change the way laboratory medicine is conducted. Since forgoing college at 19, Ms. Holmes has secured millions of dollars in funding for her new venture, including $45 million in private equity funding in 2010.[2] The board of directors of her company is a Who’s Who of distinguished former and current technology, academic, and government officials.[2,3]

In an exclusive interview, Ms. Holmes talks to Medscape Editor-in-Chief Eric J. Topol, MD, about the decade she spent building her company; plans for the present and the future, including a recent deal with Walgreens drugstores; and whether she’s on the path to the creative destruction of laboratory medicine.

Leaving Stanford at Age 19

Dr. Topol: Hello. I’m Dr. Eric Topol, Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. Joining me today for Medscape One-on-One is Elizabeth Holmes, Founder, President, and CEO of Theranos.  We are here in Palo Alto, California, at the company’s headquarters. Elizabeth, welcome. This is going to be a fascinating discussion.

Ms. Holmes: Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here and have you here.

Dr. Topol: This is a story that has been brewing for a long time. You were at Stanford University, and at age 19 you decided to change your path. Is that right?

Ms. Holmes: Yes.

Dr. Topol: What made you think, “I’m on to something, and I don’t want to do college; I’ve got something else that’s  probably bigger than that”?

Ms. Holmes: I knew that I wanted to do something that could make a difference in the world.

To me, there was nothing greater that I could build than something that would change the reality in our healthcare system today, which is that when someone you love gets really, really sick, usually by the time you find that out, it’s too late to be able to do something about it. And in those moments it’s heartbreaking, because there is nothing you wouldn’t do.

 

Read Full Post »