STD-detecting condom story "debunked"

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Great idea at first glance, but how could this possibly be a real thing? Even the tiniest medical testing equipment is big enough to be quite uncomfortable in there, to say nothing of expensive. Also, if you’re using the condom, aren’t you already part of the solution?

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I knew from the start that it was rather highly questionable; what I particularly failed to comprehend is what, exactly, the kids won a prize for. Making slick marketing materials, I guess? What did the other teams come up with?

I remember a project way back in sixth grade where we had to design an advertising campaign. We came up with a shampoo bottle with buttons on it so it would dispense different products depending on what button you pushed. Just about as practical.

If you actually had a target structure in mind, you could probably boil the ‘test strip’ part of an antigen binding test into a suitably small area, probably right down to microscopic if you didn’t mind make analyzing the test, and delivering a sufficiently representative sample, a huge pain; but they don’t seem to have any options for the ‘building in the analysis’ step.

Also, conceptually, the condom seems like a curious choice for delivering even the most rapid diagnostic test: it’s messy and suboptimal as a pure diagnostic tool; but people who are at the point of donning them for use are…to put it charitably…thinking incrementally more reasonably than those who don’t; but aren’t likely to be in a terribly receptive mood for a little medical advice.

If you had the necessary coating, you could save yourself a lot of trouble trying to integrate it without compromising the elastomer by just soaking it into paper test strips or cotton swabs and distributing the kit that way.

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