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New Ring Can Diagnose STIs

Posted in E-Health & Technology 09 Sep, 2015

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and... oh hang on not that ring.

This ring is a new invention that can detect whether you have a sexually transmitted infection. I bet Frodo would have preferred a 'Hoope' from Uncle Bilbo.

What Exactly Is 'The Ring'?

Throw the Hoope ring into the fiery depths of a syphilis infection but it won't be destroyed Tolkien-style, because the Hoope is a specifically designed medical device. It has a one-use needle that sends collected data to an app. It could change the way we detect STIs.

How Does It Work?

The Hoope uses an electric pulse generator to numb the skin. A retractable needle takes a blood sample, which is passed to the ring's 'lab-on-a-chip.'

The blood is then sent to four channels where antigens pick up antibodies from STIs. Once detected, an electrochemical reaction is created. It then sends the data to a specifically downloaded app that tells the users what their problem is and what to do next. Woah, that's quite a bit of science to take in. Have some tea before you read on.

When Will It Be Available?

It's hoped the Hoope will be rolled out in 2016. It'll be launched in Mexico and Latin America where the team designing and perfecting the ring are based, followed by the EU and the United States. The cost is projected at $50 a ring, but even at twice the price I think it will sell. The embarrassment factor (see below) must be the number one reason people fail to get their STI treated.

The Embarrassment Factor

For those really unhappy at the thought of speaking to a GP or clinic, this ring may be an actual lifesaver. Untreated STIs cause not only pain and misery, but can travel to other parts of the body such as the brain. Left untreated these STIs are easily spread to partners who may also be unhappy to seek treatment. You can see how they get out of hand. If you think you've got an STI, you MUST see your doctor or head straight to your local clinic. Head-burying is not an option. You might feel embarrassed, but your health is more important. Just think yourself lucky that we have antibiotics and you won't be forced to eat arsenic like they did in the 1800s.

Is The Hoope Useful?

Yes. The stigma attached to visiting the clinic is still going strong. No one on Earth wants to walk into the STI clinic and be prodded in their private area.

Presently the ring is under development. Its syphilis detection rate is good, and they are improving it to detect chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis. In the future it's hoped this type of ring will develop into a cancer, diabetes and pregnancy-testing tool.

With some reliability tests under its belt this ring may be the future of STI detection. It may even eradicate STIs because without the embarrassment factor more of us would seek treatment more quickly.

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