Diagnose STDs With Your Cell Phone

If you've ever vascillated between visiting the health center and simply coping with uncomfortable symptoms in order to avoid the potential embarrassment of being diagnosed with an STD, you will soon be able to substitute that first humiliating visit for a consultation with...your Blackberry?!  (Sorry, you will still have to see a health professional if you do end up being infected!).

According to this article in The Guardian--one of the major newspapers in the United Kingdom--doctors and technology experts in England have devised a computer chip that, when plugged into either a mobile phone or computer, will be able to diagnose STDs.

The small computer chip will function similarly to a pregnancy test, as users will be able to place a urine or saliva sample onto the small devise, insert it into their computer or cellphone, and receive the results momentarily. The mobile phone or computer will indicate within minutes if the person is infected with an STD and, if so, which one he or she has.

"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 or a genito-urinary medicine clinic to get tested and therefore continue to suffer and potentially pass the disease on. Doctors hope that the ability to obtain a private, confidential diagnosis will overcome their widespread reluctance to take a test," reports The Guardian.

The devices are expected to be sold in pharmacies, nightclubs, and supermarkets for as little as £1 (about $1 and 60 cents).

There is no indication as to when this new technology will be available to the public, but by the looks of it, the device is quite ready to be released in the UK. Hopefully the results in England will be so favorable that we will soon have the opportunity to avoid that dreaded visit to the doctor!