I guess they’re not called smartphones for nothing. Now, with the addition of a pocket-sized device that you can attach to your phone, you’ll be able to test yourself for HIV and syphilis and 15 minutes later receive accurate results.
The device, the result of over three years of work by researchers at Columbia University (with partial funding by the United States Agency for International Development), looks set to speed up in-field tests for STDs as well as making consumer tech an important aspect of maintaining public health.
Samuel Sia, Columbia University’s associate professor of biomedical engineering, told the press, “If you can start to bring core health services to the smartphone beyond just measuring the heart rate – like blood tests – then you’re going to start seeing a pretty fundamental shift in the health-care system.”
The device appears simple enough to use. Just attach a dongle to the headphone socket of an iPhone, for example. Take a small blood sample and put it in a disposable plastic collector, which you then connect to a chip that will analyze it once you insert the chip into the dongle. 15 minutes later, the app pings the results back to you.
This video will take you though it:
In the end of course, we all know that the best medicine is education and prevention. So maybe the next logical step for the truly smart smartphone is to stop you contracting STDs in the first place.