Just last month, we blogged about a new crop of sexual health smartphone apps that were exploding into the virtual marketplace. More recent news brings the announcement of a DNA test developed by researchers, made for smartphones, that can detect chlamydia, the most commonly reported STI in the U.S.
Jeff Tza-Huei Wang, Ph.D. and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University developed the test, called mobiLab. They say it will make testing for the disease cheaper and easier. Currently, the nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) is considered the most accurate screening technique for chlamydia, and involves the testing of a vaginal swab or urine sample. It costs $10 per test.
The mobiLab, on the other hand, costs a mere $2 per test. How does it work? A battery-powered device, it analyzes genital swab samples with a unit that attaches to your smartphone, detecting the DNA of chlamydia bacteria via a microfluidics cartridge. You can download an app onto your smartphone in order to download and assess the test data.
It's interesting to see sexual health care evolve as researchers develop techniques that are more accessible to wider populations. You can read more on this development here.