That washroom guy in the Microsoft ad? He was checking for STDs

Steven Hodson

I got to admit that when I first read this post over at the Guardian was of the Microsoft ad for Windows Phone 7 where the guy dropped his phone into the urinal and then bends down to retrieve it but scientists in Britain have other ideas it seems.

The scientists are working with technology experts to come up with a small device; similar to those drugstore pregnancy tests, which you pee on and then plug into your smartphone for a quick diagnosis.

"Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor. It diagnoses whether you've got one of a range of STIs, 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." Some people do not get tested because they choose to do nothing about their symptoms, such as an itch or discharge, or dislike clinics' waiting lists or opening times. With some STIs people can remain infectious, even when the initial symptoms have disappeared.