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November 08, 2021

Pee into your smart phone, diagnose STDs

Tell someone on the street to pee into their smart phone, and they’re sure to tell you ‘no.’ Or, to screw off. Or, that they’d rather move to Russia and become a journalist.

1080174_stethoscope_1 Yet, remarkably, soon such a ludicrous proposal could become commonplace. That suggestion again: whizzing into your BlackBerry.

According to the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, doctors and tech experts are developing a device application that will allow users to insert urine or saliva into their smart phones to diagnose various STDs.

The in-development tests will work like so: users can pee or spit onto a computer chip about the size of a USB plug-in, pop it into their smart phones and “receive a diagnosis within minutes,” says the Guardian, “telling them which, if any sexually transmitted infection, they have.”

Which devices – Windows phones, iPhones, BlackBerrys or otherwise – will carry the STD app hasn’t yet been specified. The program will also work on personal computers, too, the paper notes.

Now, you have to concede, no matter where you stand on the app’s principle, this technology is pretty cool. U.K. researchers have dumped about $6.5 million into the program, which is aimed at tackling the country’s growing STD rate among twentysomethings.

The idea being, This demographic is too embarrassed to get itself checked out by doctors. We have to bring a modern, user-friendly STD test to them or God help us all.

Of course, how the general public will react to sticking a pee stick into the very phones they place to their head every day remains to be seen, but at $1 or $1.50 per unit – what they’re to be sold at in nightclubs or pharmacies, like condoms – it’s a safe bet they’ll become popular if they prove to be as accurate as advertised.

As the Observer.com notes, such a device gives a “whole new meaning to status update.”

No word yet on if the unnamed STD app is a close relative of the Cheating Spouse app, which was notoriously unveiled last month.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...