Via- Yahoo Health
When you suspect you have an STD, the thought of approaching your physician for an awkward conversation about getting tested makes most folks cringe. In fact, embarrassment about the need for testing is a significant barrier for many young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But thanks to our smart phones, STD diagnosis is getting easier, more discreet — and less awkward.
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood is launching a new app that gives California women the ability to receive STD testing with just a few taps on their phone screens (and a quick pee in a cup).The Planned Parenthood Direct app is available through both the Android and Apple app stores. Once downloaded, California residents can order a kit to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea from the comfort and privacy of their own homes. The test kit arrives in discreet packaging and with simple instructions on how to collect a urine sample using the provided materials and mail it back to Planned Parenthood labs.
Users are then notified of their results through the app to further ensure privacy — and effective treatment. Those who test positive for chlamydia can have a prescription for antibiotics sent to the pharmacy of their choice through the app, and those who test positive for gonorrhea can schedule an appointment to visit a Planned Parenthood health center to receive an antibiotic shot.
“It starts with Planned Parenthood recognizing that online health services are one of the most successful and fastest growing health trends to increase and improve access and convenience to care,” Jill Balderson, vice president of health innovation at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, tells Yahoo Health. “STD [sexually transmitted disease] testing is one of our core services at Planned Parenthood. Now we can increase access to those who might not want to spend the time and come into a health center [for testing] and for those who may not live close to a health center.”
Balderson notes that Planned Parenthood is looking to expand its offerings soon — both in disease tests and states in which the app can be used — but is launching the service with gonorrhea and chlamydia testing since those two STDs are “easy to treat and easy to test.” Also, both are often symptomless but can have devastating long-term consequences if left untreated. She says the group is offering the pilot program in California first because the state has “a large population that we hope to engage and reach” as well as “progressive telehealth laws.”
Normally I’m completely on board with any sort of new technology that’s designed to make life easier. Like if I can order a pizza without having to talk to anyone or watch an entire TV series in a single night without ever having to move from my couch, I’m all over that like black on Akon. You have to draw the line somewhere though. I realize robots and machines and technology can perform open heart surgery, or put a go kart on Mars, or fly an airplane all by itself, but half the time when I ask Siri to find me a song on the internet she has no idea what I’m talking about. Call me an old fashioned guy, I just think wireless STD tests are basically the medical version of Tidal. Great idea in theory, the execution however is a totally different story.
On the bright side of things, I guess these floozies will probably become, um, let’s say a little more cavalier in their ‘personal lives’ knowing they don’t have to sit down with Dr. Tor Kamata when they wake up with burning lady parts the next morning. All they gotta do is make a few swipes on the iPhone, sit back and wait for the cavalry to show. More or less GrubHub for the snatch. Uber is a billion dollar company, Seamless is blowing up in big cities, so why can’t Planned Parenthood’s STD app be the next big thing in the mobile world? I guess as long as everything is A1 by the time I get down there then go ahead and chalk that up as a W for science. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander I suppose.