According to a report, developers in the United Kingdom are creating a mobile "kit" that will work with smartphones and personal computers to test users for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The self-diagnosis kit will appeal to "technology-savvy young people," The Guardian writes, adding that the number of recorded STIs reached a record high last year, with men and women under 25 making up the largest percentage of new infections.
At the project's helm is Dr Tariq Sadiq, head of the Electronic Self-testing Instruments for Sexually Transmitted Infections consortium. Dr. Sadiq told The Guardian that this initiative, which he says will turn a mobile phone into a "mobile doctor," will hopefully curb the rate of infections among young people.
How will this "app" work? The Guardian explains:
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.
Dr. Sadiq also told the Guardian that the kit will diagnose a "range" of common infections--including herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhoea--and will suggest treatment options. The "app" could be sold in grocery stores, pharmacies or night club vending machines for under £1.
As the Daily News points out, STI infections rose sharply in the United States between 2002 and 2008. However, there is no word yet on whether this self-testing kit will become available stateside.
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