Smartphone Alert: You Have Clamydia

Paul Lilly

If you want to hear 100 different variations of the human fart, there's an app for that. Mobile apps exist for scanning barcodes, detecting your heart rate, and all sorts of functions. Pretty soon, your smartphone may also be able to tell you if you have an STD, the U.K.'s Guardian reports .

A total of seven funders, including the Medical Research Council, have poured over $6.4 million into developing technology that would ultimately allow subjects to put urine or saliva on a computer chip roughly the size of a USB chip, jam it into their phone, and get a diagnosis within minutes.

"Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor. It diagnoses whether you've got one of a range of STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea and tells you where to go next to get treatment," said Dr Tariq Sadiq, a senior lecturer and consultant physician in sexual health and HIV at St George's, University of London, who is leading the project. "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. That there's a major embarrassment factor here, especially among young people, makes the situation worse."

Similar to home pregnancy tests, doctors say the devices could help those who may feel intimidated going into a medical facility.

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