(NaturalNews) Young people already use their mobile phones to share their most personal details with those in their social circles, but a new project out of the U.K could take cell phone "intimacy" to a whole new level. According to a recent Guardian report, researchers are in the process of developing a new technology that allows users to put a urine or saliva sample on a small chip and insert it into their mobile phone to test for sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).
It may sound like a joke -- and a highly unsanitary one at that -- but it is quite real. A six-and-a-half million dollar research project that is part of the U.K. Clinical Research Collaboration is working on creating the device right now as a way to encourage young people who are otherwise too scared or intimidated to go to a doctor, to get tested for STDs if they think they might have one.
"Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor," explained Dr. Tariq Sadiq, senior lecturer and consultant physician in sexual health and HIV at St. George's, University of London, and lead of the project. "It diagnoses whether you've got one of a range of STIs (sexually-transmitted infections), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea and tells you where to go next to get treatment."
Interestingly, the technology has the potential to be an even more embarrassing invasion of privacy than seeing a doctor would be, since the results of the tests are tied directly back to the owner of the phone. And what happens to those results after they are determined is unclear from the report.
Also, researchers did not address the negative ramifications of putting potentially-contaminated bodily fluids into mobile devices that are handled by more than just personal users.