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Mobile Apps May Soon Diagnose STD’s

by Tom Moccia | November 15, 2010November 15, 2010 10:00 am PST

Now I have been out of the dating scene for quite a while, having recently celebrated my ten year wedding anniversary and trying to keep up with an eight year old and a toddler. That being said, I remember some crazy party nights during college and my mid twenties, some of them being hard to recollect, yet even if smart phones were invented the I would never have guessed there would be an app for this.

Doctors, along with technology experts, are developing both hardware and software that will utilize smart phones in allowing users to test themselves for sexually transmitted diseases. These researchers based in the United Kingdom are on the verge of perfecting STD-diagnostic technology that will allow users to put saliva or urine onto a computer chip roughly the size of a SIM card, plug the chip into their phone and within minutes know which, if any, sexually transmitted infections are present.

medical-logoProject leader and physician at Saint George’s University in London emphasizes that “Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor and diagnose if you have a range of STI’s such as chlamydia or gonorrhea as well as tell you where you can go for treatment.”

So what if this technology gonna cost? Well developers hope to sell the chips in vending machines for as little as $1 or $2, wherever condoms can be sold. This is ironic in itself as if you used the vending machine to purchase a condom in the first place you would probably have no need for the STD detection device.

The availability and usage of these tests would no doubt limit the exponential spread of STD’s, but experts still believe education would be the biggest deterrent of potential infection. The biggest benefit of this potential test would be the quick and private ability to test oneself and may address the rising rates of STI among young people.

When I was in college I never thought we would be able to buy some of the things that we do from vending machines, and often asked my roommate to grab me a soda from the machine. Soon today’s youth will be asking roommates to grab an iPod, soda and STD test from the campus vending machine. New meanings for “There’s an app for that” pop up all the time.

Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...