Disease-testing micro chips may go on sale in vending machines

Toilet vending machines and other such facilities may soon be selling microchips that help people test whether or not they have sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

A team of doctors and technology experts are currently working on the development, which would incorporate mobile phones.

At present, small devices similar to pregnancy testing kits are being constructed that will be able to tell individuals whether or not they have conditions such as herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Those who are worried they may have contracted an STD will be able to put urine or saliva onto a computer chip and then plug it into their mobile handsets or computer, which will then reveal their diagnoses within minutes.

Among the organisations funding the project is the Medical Research Council, which is a publicly-funded organisation dedicated to improving human health.

The chips will reportedly be on sale in toilet vending machines, mini vending machines and other such dispensaries.

It is hoped that the tests will be available from as little as 50p or £1 from mini vending machines and other outlets.

Leader of the initiative Dr Tariq Sadiq, who is also a senior lecturer and consultant physician in sexual health and HIV at the University of London, spoke to the Guardian about the topic.

He said: “Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor. It diagnoses whether you’ve got one of a range of [STDs], such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea and tells you where to go next to get treatment.”

The expert added: “We need to tackle the rising epidemic of [STDs], which have been going up and up and up. Britain is one of the worst [countries] in western Europe for teenage pregnancy and [STDs].”

He went on to suggest that there is a “major embarrassment factor” among those who have diseases of this nature and this is particularly acute among young people.

Leave a Comment