From the future: check for STDs by peeing on your phone

By on November 10, 2010, 1:27 PM
The embarrassment of going to a clinic to get tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) may one day be easily avoidable. Testing may soon require only a computer chip and a place to pee on one. In an attempt to cut the UK's rising rates of various herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, British health officials say that STDs will soon be diagnosable by placing urine or saliva on a computer chip and plugging it into a cell phone or computer.

"Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor," Dr. Tariq Sadiq, a senior lecturer and consultant physician in sexual health and HIV at the University of London, who is leading the project, told the Guardian. "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. 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."

Seven sources, including the Medical Research Council, have invested 4 million ($6.41 million) into the UK Clinical Research Collaboration to fund the project. Unfortunately, details regarding when the technology will go retail are still unknown. One day, parents will have to remind their teenagers that condoms can fit in their pockets too, just like cell phones.





User Comments: 48

Got something to say? Post a comment
TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't know whether to laugh or be amazed at the technology for this.

taea00 said:

This doesn't sound very sanitary. Why not just have hot spots that you can plug your chip into that'll sound it out. I'm sorry I'm not putting something I peed on onto something I put my mouth near.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

taea00 said:

I'm sorry I'm not putting something I peed on onto something I put my mouth near.

^This.

nismo91 said:

this doesn't sound very hygienic. at least they should've come out with something like the pregnancy test pen.

gLitCh32 said:

taea00 said:

This doesn't sound very sanitary. Why not just have hot spots that you can plug your chip into that'll sound it out. I'm sorry I'm not putting something I peed on onto something I put my mouth near.

Exactly! Maybe we should use something else instead of phones? How about your personal computer, I can't imagine that you would need to check yourself out so often it needs to be on your phone.

Leeky Leeky said:

Oh come on, its just connecting a cable to the phone.

Its not quite the same as peeing on your phone and then using it afterwards is it?

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Leeky said:

Oh come on, its just connecting a cable to the phone.

Its not quite the same as peeing on your phone and then using it afterwards is it?

It doesn't say that in the article. It simply mentions the inclusion of a chip in the market to make the test more accessible.

Now, if such chip will be a standalone portable device you can use at home, then the idea is certainly welcome. But what the article is implying --if not saying-- is that such chip (which you will have to pee onto) will be somehow attached to the phone for what I assume is, "portability." And that is unsanitary.

cardriverx said:

Define unsanitary. Your piss is more sanitary than your phones surface.

Leeky Leeky said:

@Cardriverx

Testing may soon require only a computer chip and a place to pee on one. In an attempt to cut the UK's rising rates of various herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, British health officials say that STDs will soon be diagnosable by placing urine or saliva on a computer chip and plugging it into a cell phone or computer.

I think its fairly safe to assume you'll be connecting it via a cable - Thats how you connect pretty much all computer devices of one description or another. Its rather obvious such a system wouldn't be even remotely used should your assumption be the case.

I cannot see phone manufacturers giving up space to insert a "real" card of any size for the purpose of urine evaluation - If only due to the risk of water damage. It would have to be a separate system.

hassaan said:

What the heck? I'm actually short of words here.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

cardriverx said:

Define unsanitary. Your piss is more sanitary than your phones surface.

Is this a joke?

Leeky Leeky said:

Is this a joke?

It wouldn't surprise me, our phones get around a fair bit.

AbsolutGaloot said:

I can just imagine the tech support calls:

"um, my phone's not working anymore, I used it for an STD test"

"sorry, we don't cover pee damage for incorrect testing procedure"

frodough said:

haha this makes me think of that pregnancy detector commercial saying: "the most expensive piece of technology you will ever pee on" i think that must have inspired developers, but hey - developers developer developers right?

sMILEY4ever said:

absolutgaloot said:

I can just imagine the tech support calls:

"um, my phone's not working anymore, I used it for an STD test"

"sorry, we don't cover pee damage for incorrect testing procedure"

LOL.

Phone+pee=bad combo

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Leeky said:

Is this a joke?

It wouldn't surprise me, our phones get around a fair bit.

I guess so.

I do know the urine-is-just-1%-bacteria-99%-water thing, but would you seriously splash your face with urine, or use your phone as you normally do?

They say ignorance is bliss since we can't see the bacteria on the phones, but I assure you I prefer talking on the phone than the former.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

lawfer said:

cardriverx said:

Define unsanitary. Your piss is more sanitary than your phones surface.

Is this a joke?

Actually, he's right. Urine is sterile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine

But it does stink and I doubt anyone is ever going to be marketing a phone you pee on. It's just sensationalism in the press to get you to read the article. The sad thing though, is that if the chip does come to fruition, that it'll create a false sense of security as there's many STD's that cannot be detected via urine. Hopefully they'll make that abundantly clear for those that buy the future products.

fish4specs said:

Hope said phones have antivirus, is there antibacterial software?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"Can I borrow your phone for a moment? Thanks."

flocka said:

probably sound hygenic to the UK lmao

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I dunno what's more embarrassing, going to the doctor to get checked or getting caught peeing on your phone.

Cryptopsy said:

Could be useful during a sex scene... "wait baby, show me your phone I need to know something before we start" xD

Jibberish18 said:

It'd be cool to be able to use it to detect certain diseases.

"Wanna come down for coffee?"

"Wanna pee on my phone first?"

bakape said:

It will most probably be a USB device of some sort, perhaps micro. Not too surprised since you can plug in much into those ports - from lamps to vacuum cleaners.

Also this gives UPnP a whole new meaning: Universal Plug and Pee anyone?

akannitaoheed said:

This is what I call AMAZING. But the catastrophe is that a malfunctioning phone could tell you you have an STD while still a virgin. You probably would have hung yourself before a doctor could manually confirm you're clean. What a tragedy !!!

Jetatt23 said:

This is a cool idea, but I could see it, as the author says, implying that condoms don't need to be used since diagnosis will be easily treatable. Kids these days...

Jibberish18 said:

This is what I call AMAZING. But the catastrophe is that a malfunctioning phone could tell you you have an STD while still a virgin. You probably would have hung yourself before a doctor could manually confirm you're clean. What a tragedy !!!

Yeah? My doctor once told me she thought I had Herpes after inspecting my goods. She sounded a bit sure of it too. Told me not to worry about it, plenty of people live with it, yadda yadda. She took some samples and sent it out for tests. Came back as negative. I only have/had 1 partner and she doesn't have it. At least my iPhone would've given me a 2nd opinion. LOL. Turned out, it was from my Diabetes.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

bakape said:

It will most probably be a USB device of some sort, perhaps micro. Not too surprised since you can plug in much into those ports - from lamps to vacuum cleaners.

Also this gives UPnP a whole new meaning: Universal Plug and Pee anyone?

ROFL! I've been laughing ever since I read the title of this story, but the comments are great!

KG363 KG363 said:

eww, no thank you

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

cardriverx said:

Define unsanitary. Your piss is more sanitary than your phones surface.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious... oh, apparently NOT TOO obvious for most people.

I wash my hands BEFORE I piss. I dont want all that bacteria from my hands on my D**K!

fadownjoo said:

or they could make a usb pee/saliva/blood tester that you plug into any pc, and it could tell you other stuff besides just stds...like maybe your sugar is high!

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

bakape said:

Also this gives UPnP a whole new meaning: Universal Plug and Pee anyone?

lol love that bakape but i dont think this will go anywhere in reality it seems like a practical joke.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This is probably one of the few times I'm actually laughing out loud at an article + comments.

@trillionsin Ya a lot of people don't seem to get that .

zogo said:

Actually your urine IS MORE sanitary then your phone's surface. Only small amount of non pathogenic bacteria can be found in the physiological urine but on the phone's surface there are billions of bacteria and other germs. With time and practice, everybody will get used to it. It will become normal like everything else. This is very useful tech!

Guest said:

I think I'll just borrow a cell phone for a few moments...

fritz123 said:

i dont think its a good idea to pee in the phone that your using. it is very unhygienic. on the other side, it would be a lot easier for people to test themselves without getting embarrassed on going to the doctors. i dont think it would really decrease the number of sti's.

maybe its nice that access to these are convenient. but it still sounds disgusting to me.

Leeky Leeky said:

probably sound hygenic to the UK lmao

What, because being a UK citizen makes us an inferior species?

Get a life you *****!

anguis said:

if you think you have an STI a little pee on your face shouldnt bother you

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

EW! What the hell... I'm not going to pee on my phone!

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Pretty amazing technology if it's accurate and doesn't give incorrect results. At the very least it may be able to tell you if you need to see a doctor ASAP. Imagine 20 years from now when you can put a small amount of blood on a similar device and it looks for Cancer and other diseases/infections. That would be awesome.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Leeky said:

probably sound hygenic to the UK lmao

What, because being a UK citizen makes us an inferior species?

Get a life you *****!

I was thinking the same thing.

Why if I live in the UK am I inferior?

I would like to hear this one as well as I'm intruged if your a terrorist or something by that attitude.

Johny47 said:

That's disgusting, even though I know that urine is almost sterile but pissing on on your phone? ... urine still smells if you don't drink alot of water =/

Sick idea, so many better ideas that could have gone into phones... like better signal and battery life hahaha =P

LookinAround LookinAround, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

A whole new meaning for "There's an app for that!"

I suppose next apps are DNA analyzer to identify who gave you the strain and GPS locator to track down where they are (and where they been!)

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

This doesn't sound very sanitary. Why not just have hot spots that you can plug your chip into that'll sound it out. I'm sorry I'm not putting something I peed on onto something I put my mouth near.

^^ Agreed entirely. It sounds very nasty and wrong.

255juan said:

Got to love the UK

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Actually urine is of the cleaner things you could have on your phone...or anywhere else for that matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine

A whole new meaning for "There's an app for that!"
+1

Originally Posted by flocka View Post

probably sound hygenic to the UK lmao

What a rube...

**** opps, missed PanicX's comment on urine sterility ****

xcelofjkl said:

akannitaoheed said:

This is what I call AMAZING. But the catastrophe is that a malfunctioning phone could tell you you have an STD while still a virgin. You probably would have hung yourself before a doctor could manually confirm you're clean. What a tragedy !!!

Yea. What of false positives? Dun dun dun...

Serag said:

haha the title made me laugh, the whole thing reminds me of a joke about something similar, this is amazing..like foretelling the future!

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.