January 2, 2013
MedXCom, a smartphone application developed by MedXSafe, allows users to share their contact information and STD status by "bumping" phones. Michael Nusbaum, MD, developed the app to help people know about STD risk and to prevent the spread of disease. The app encourages users to be screened regularly for STDs and allows their doctor to confirm the user is STD-negative on MedXCom.
The app does have potential drawbacks. Users who have a still undetected infection may falsely believe they are clear of STDs, and the app might encourage risky behavior. Some STDs increase the risk of HIV and carry long-term consequences such as infertility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than half of US adolescents say they have had intercourse, and about half of new STD infections each year occur among people ages 15 to 24.