Find out STD status by “bumping” your iPhone

MedXSafe is a dangerous and hilarious new feature of the MedXCom app.

It’s dangerous because it implies to users that it has accurate knowledge of potential sexual partners’ STD status. Although increased risk of contracting an STI is no laughing matter, it’s hilarious in how it rarely accomplishes its purported goal.

I suppose it would be a lot less hilarious to those who trust the app and get “burned.”

The feature allows two users of the app to “bump” phones and automatically exchange information including “a photo, email address, telephone number, and STD status.” The STD status can be entered into the system by the user’s physician after STD tests have been done. To gain access, physicians must be subscribed to MedXCom’s physician service for a fee.

The one situation where the app could be trusted is if the STD information one might receive has a very recent date attached to it.

Other than that, it simply encourages promiscuous behavior based on outdated information; especially in a situation where one’s judgment is impaired due to a few drinks. If anything, this will lead to increased STD transmission: the opposite of its goal.

Instead of using this app, I would encourage my patients to do things that might actually decrease their risk for contraction of an STD. I’d encourage them to get to know their partner before sexual contact to get an idea if they live a sexually risky lifestyle.

I’d encourage them to keep promiscuity to a minimum in their own lives, and I’d encourage them to be wary of any STD test results that are not very recent. Not to beat a dead horse, but the only way to eliminate STD risk is abstinence.

On a positive not, at least the app is HIPAA compliant.

Source: MedXSafe, Bump

This is an opinion piece expressed by an iMedicalApps writer, and this is not an official review of the app. 


Waqaar Khawar

Waqaar Khawar is a fourth year medical student at Ross University School of Medicine. Before medical school, he graduated cum laude from North Carolina State University in 2006 with a degree in Computer Science and worked in the telecom industry. Waqaar is interested in the future of integration of technology in medicine. His focus in iMedicalApps is primarily on news and research in cutting edge technology.

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5 Responses to Find out STD status by “bumping” your iPhone

  1. kelly January 22, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    Interesting how the author doesn’t speak to the Physician who created this app nor does he state that staggering statistics that 1 in 3 teens have an STD. This app isn’t meant to be’s another tool for people to protect themselves and it’s signed and DATED by a physician..more proof than just “believing” someone. Preaching abstinence is one thing but a true unbiased review would have statistics and would have more info on the app instead of just slamming it. I would have expected more on this would be nice if it were accurate. This is a serious issue amongst our teens and any tool that can help should be lauded not dismissed.

    • Waqaar Khawar January 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      We can both agree that STDs are a problem, but that’s not what this article is about. It’s about MedXSafe’s ability to help with the problem. In my opinion, the app fails to accomplish its goal for the reasons state above.

  2. Ramin January 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    My company – – has been helping people easily obtain, securely store and privately share their verified STD status since 2010.

    We are hugely passionate about empowering users to make better sexual health decisions using our free service.

    It’s worth noting that our medical advisor previously ran STD prevention for the San Francisco Dept. of Health for 11 years. Another advisor was previously the chief health strategist at Google. We’ve thought about this and we believe in our radically different approach to prevention.

    We like the idea of any company coming into the STD prevention world, however this product isn’t live yet from what we know (we’ve tried to download and use it to no avail).

    @Waqaar – every time a user shares their STD status with someone else it attaches a test date and notifies them that “This person may have had sex since being tested. Always use condoms / be safe.” We see ourselves as one tool in the harm reduction tool kit.

    We are better than the status quo in which a person might ask another person, “have you been tested?” – and the answer is “yes!” and that’s the end of it. We show the last testing date, what they were tested for and have verified that information is true with the doctor (the don’t pay us a fee either, unlike the company you’ve profiled – we are a completely free service).

    And lastly, we are absolutely HIPAA compliant where we need to be, although we are not a HIPAA covered entity.

    Happy to address any questions,

    Ramin Bastani, Founder + CEO, Inc.
    Spread the Love, Nothing Else

  3. Kelly Cinelli January 30, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Ramin – Correction – it is live and is being used actively – It is an active app that has been in use for months.

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