Published November 09, 2010
Too embarrassed to go to the doctor to get tested for an sexually transmitted disease? Well, there’s a new phone app in the works that could help you with that very problem.
Health officials in Britain are in the process of developing an application that would allow smartphone users to receive a diagnosis within minutes, The Guardian reported.
This is how it would work: A user would put urine or saliva on a computer chip about the size of a USB chip and then plug it into their phone or computer. And voila, a diagnosis will appear right before their eyes.
The U.K. Clinical Research Collaboration has invested more than $6 million dollars in the project, which is aimed at young people who are too mortified to go to the doctor to get tested.
"Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor,” Dr. Tariq Sadiq, lead researcher on the project and consultant physician in sexual health and HIV at St. George's, University of London, told The Guardian. “"We need to tackle the rising epidemic of STIs, which have been going up and up and up. Britain is one of the worst [countries] in western Europe for teenage pregnancy and STIs.”
Sadiq said the app will test for a range of range of STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea.
“And it tells you where to go next to get treatment,” he added.
Here in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are approximately 19 million new STD infections each year — almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age.