In a world of smartphones, applications can do everything from turning off lights to starting a car. There’s even an app to tell you if a person has a sexually transmitted disease.
The MedXSafe app, released by medical communication company MedXCom, allows people to bump phones and exchange contact information, a photo and an ‘STD free’ stamp. The app also shows the date the person was tested.
The app is within the right of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and allows users to remove such sensitive information if they prefer. People can request their doctors upload the information to the app for use.
MedXSafe is meant to encourage those in the dating world to get tested, creator and physician Michael Nusbaum said. With a focus on helping the 25 percent of college students who have an STD, he created the app to help prevent the spread of STDs.
“I was surprised at the number,” Nusbaum said. “That’s a scary statistic. The number wasn’t that high when I was in school.”
The app allows users to chose the information they wish to share. Contact information, pictures and the STD free stamp can all be taken off if the person doesn’t want the information to be shared.
The possibility of sharing such information is what bothered public relations junior Brandon Demings the most.
“I don’t want to share something that personal,” he said. “With all the social media, someone could use that to put a person on blast.”
Biology senior Alejandro Moreno said the app could potentially do wrong.
“It’s like advertising yourself,” he said. “I think it could promote promiscuity.”
For those who use the app and do have an STD, the app will not show which one . Nusbaum said the focus is to encourage people to get tested and not alienate those with STDs.
“It’s not really a stigma but just a starter,” Nusbaum said about those who have STDs. “It forces a truthful conversation.”
A truthful conversation about having an STD upon the first meeting is not what education junior Pricilla Arriaga had in mind.
“You’re already disclosing private information,” she said. “It creates conflict.”
Nursing sophomore Aya Katagiri said that such information could still get out to the public even without the app.
“The spread of information is going to happen with or without the app,” she said. “The app wouldn’t cause the spread any more or less.”
She also said it could cause more people to be open about the subject and more open to getting help and working with the disease.
“People would become more informed about it, they shouldn’t be ashamed,” Katagiri said. “If it happens, it happens.”
Nusbaum believes the app offers another layer of help in the dating scene. Geology junior Klayton Byrd said the app has its uses.
“I mean it’s useful for a clean one-night stand,” he laughed.
However, Demings said there are other ways to encourage people to get tested.
“The app isn’t going to make me get tested,” he said. “They should create an incentive on campus.”
The MedXSafe app is available for free in the App Store under MedXCom for patients.