London: For those agonising over whether they have contracted sexually transmitted infections (STI), help is at hand -- actually, just a mobile phone away.
University of London scientists are developing a self-testing device that will instantly diagnose a host of common infections such as chlamydia.
Users need to pass urine on the device as in a pregnancy test which will then be plugged into a mobile phone or computer.
Software will analyse the sample, make a diagnosis and recommend a course of action, reports the Daily Mail.
The 5.7 million pounds project, called eSTI², electronic self-testing instruments for STIs, will use nanotechnology.
Project leader Tariq Sadiq from the University of London said that potentially eSTI2 systems could automatically make an appointment with the appropriate physician or surgeon or sexual health clinic.
"Mobile phones have changed the way we live and communicate, and our team of experts firmly believes that they open up a unique avenue for new ways to diagnose and control STIs," Sadiq said.
"Currently, if you want to know if you have an infection, your sample is usually sent to a laboratory and the results come back in a few days.
"This kind of system could also speed up the process of communicating infection trends in the population to public health doctors, allowing for quicker responses to outbreak of an STI," he said.