A new iPhone application is hoping to make identifying potential sexually transmitted diseases easier.
The recently launched app, called STD Triage, allows individuals to photograph a skin problem on their genitals and have it reviewed by a licensed dermatologist anonymously. It was created by the founder of a similar app, iDoc24, which assesses skin problems online.
"After my first app, iDoc24 was created, we noticed that an overwhelming amount - over 30 percent - of the cases submitted were STD related," the founder of both applications, Alexander Börve, M.D., said in a statement.
While Börve admitted the application cannot replace the need to seek STD testing, he said that it may help individuals who are questioning whether a rash, bump or other issue in their genital area is "normal" or should be attributed to an STD.
"A patient-doctor relationship is essential for diagnosis," Börve told The Huffington Post. "But we can at least point someone in the right direction."
Downloading the application is free, however users do have to pay in order to get an expert's opinion. The cost to read the medical opinion regarding your case is $9.99 and responses are guaranteed within 24 hours.
In addition to allowing individuals to download and send a picture, they must answer some questions about their symptoms. For instance, they must disclose where on their body the issue is occurring, how long they've had it, whether they have any other symptoms, their sexual history and if they are taking any medications.
The STD Triage website also contains general information about STDs.
The application and website are only meant to help diagnose STDs that are accompanied by skin problems. However, it's important to remember that many infections are asymptomatic or accompanied by mild symptoms that are difficult to attribute to an STD. This makes it especially important for people to undergo regular testing, especially if they have recently had sex with a new partner.