Gonorrhea testing

Scientists are coming up with increasingly drastic -- and possibly brilliant -- ways to combat STDs. Their latest ploy involves putting urine... in your cell phone. Strangely enough, it just might work:

The self-testing devices are aimed at technology-savvy young people. Public health experts are concerned that, although most STIs occur among that age group, many are too embarrassed to visit a GP...

People who suspect they have been infected will be able to put urine or saliva on to a computer chip about the size of a USB chip, plug it into their phone or computer and receive a diagnosis within minutes, telling them which, if any, sexually transmitted infection (STI) they have. Seven funders, including the Medical Research Council, have put £4m into developing the technology via a forum called the UK Clinical Research Collaboration. [The Guardian]

Yesterday, I mentioned the last desperate attempts by abstinence-only supporters in Britain. It's clear they aren't helping: abstinence education does little to deter STDs, which are becoming more and more prevalent among young people: the Guardian mentions that "two-thirds of women reporting a new STI were under 25, as were more than half of men."

Will an iPhone app for testing STIs/STDs be an effective tool for slowing the spread of disease or will most people simply ignore the chip  for the same reasons they avoid testing centers?

Commentarium (8 Comments)

Nov 09 10 - 10:14am

I think this is brilliant - although cost will probably be an issue here, both for the chip initially and the ongoing testing services (I'm hazarding a guess that, at least in the U.S., insurance companies are not going to authorize STI testing without the GP visit/referral).

Nov 09 10 - 10:39am

Can you wash the chip or is it just thrown away? cause we're already producing enough e-waste, do we really need to produce a computer chip that is meant to be thrown away after one use?

Nov 09 10 - 5:17pm

One use? I always rinse my condoms.

Nov 09 10 - 7:17pm

What about privacy concerns?

Nov 10 10 - 10:40pm

STD testing + iPhones + a big SHARE! right below this comment box with icons for Facebook and twitter makes me think this is going to make for some really awkward family updates.

Dec 05 10 - 10:36pm

I don't want to put pee into my iphone...

Jul 23 11 - 11:26am

Play informative for me, Mr. internet wreitr.

Jul 23 11 - 1:30pm

All of these artciels have saved me a lot of headaches.