Thursday, November 11, 2010

m-health - A test for sexually transmitted infections using your mobile phone

[it wire] The test involves spitting or peeing onto a computer chip and plugging it into your phone for quick analysis. Test results for common STIs, like gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes, will appear in minutes. The software also has the potential to include treatment recommendations and directions to your nearest doctor.

The project is called eSTI ("electronic Self-Testing Instruments for STIs") and is being developed by a consortium of hospitals in the U.K., thanks largely to a $6.4 million grant from The Medical Research Council and UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

According to scientist Tariq Sadiq, a professor at the University of London, the test aims to give people no excuses not to get tested.

"Currently, if you want to know if you have an infection, your sample is usually sent to a laboratory and the results come back in a few days," he said in a press release.

"Imagine how much more likely you would be to get tested if you could test yourself away from a clinic and have an on-the-spot, accurate result, but still let a doctor or pharmacist know within minutes that you may need treatment."

Tariq hopes to distribute the tests in nightclub vending machines, pharmacies, and supermarkets for as little as a dollar each, according to The Guardian.

The technology is "very close to becoming a reality," Tariq said in the release, but no word if the technology will ever make it down under (no pun intended).

Your mobile can fix a wee problem

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