Three teenage boys in the U.K. are exploring innovative solutions to simplify detecting the most common sexually transmitted diseases.
The students, aged 13 to 14, are developing a “smart condom” that glows in different colors if it comes into contact with a STD.
The condom uses a built-in indicator that changes color based on the bacteria or infection it detects. It may glow green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, blue for syphilis, or purple for human papillomavirus, say the young designers.
Creators Muaz Nawaz, Daanyaal Ali, and Chirag Shah, from London’s Isaac Newton Academy, say they want to make detecting STDs quick and accessible, without invasive testing.
Their invention, aptly named the S.T.EYE, scooped the top health innovation prize at the U.K.’s TeenTech Awards that aims to promote STEM in schools across the country. Children from 11 to 18 attempt to create “technology to make life better, simpler or easier.”
“We wanted to make something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors,” said 14-year-old Ali.
“We’ve made sure we’re able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be even more responsible than ever before.”
The winning schools in each category were awarded a prize of £1,000 ($1,580) and the overall winners will be presented with their awards at Buckingham Palace.
The colorful condoms are still in the conceptual stage. The students hope there’s potential to turn their idea into a reality in the future.
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