By Thomas Scott
Sexually transmitted diseases are a touchy subject by all accounts. For Qpid founder and California native Ramin Bastani, just the mention of STD testing ruined a potential one night stand.
Bastani fondly remembers the event which inspired his Los Angeles based start-up. After a tough break up, he openly questioned whether or not a woman he had met at a bar one night had a STD. For that, Bastani was “smacked…across the face and told… to ‘f’ off.”
“I sat there thinking ‘there’s got to be a better way.’ So I created one,” said Bastani, who started the company in mid-2010.
The underlying purpose of Qpid.me is to prevent similar exchanges by allowing individuals to share what is easily their most sensitive information in a discrete and secure fashion.
“Your information is completely private,” stated Bastani. “We are not a dating site…we’re not a social network. We’re just a way to empower you to make better sexual health decisions by being able to share your STD results with someone else you want to hook up with,” elaborated Bastani.
To begin, a potential user looks up the nearest clinic via the site’s testing locator, which utilizes google maps to find the nearest testing facility. Users can also tell Qpid where they were tested and then “sign a HIPAA authorization…online with a mouse, or with a finger on an iPhone and then…hit submit,” explained Bastani.
From there “a fax goes directly from you directly to your doctor or healthcare provider, requesting your records be sent back.” After that, the confidential records are routed directly to the user’s “secure account where [the user can] look it over and decide whether or not” to share the results via text message Bastani continued.
Those reticent to text others their STD test results have the option of sending the information to their own phone. Every text message from Qpid between potential partners has an URL attached which directs the receiver to the sender’s private profile page. According to Bastani, that URL “completely expires” in order to prevent the receiver from “spreading that [information] around to a lot of different people.”
Unfortunately, the threat posed by screen printing remains.
The site is also branching out in an attempt to become “like Verisign, for online dating websites.”
Qpid is also in the process of “integrating with dating sites” by implementing badges which will begin to appear on user’s dating profiles. These badges will indicate whether a person has been tested and how recently, by way of time stamps.
Bastani postulates that “eventually you will be able to filter through who you want to meet based on who was tested most recently” or even just “people who have Qpid.me profiles.”
Bastani thinks that such developments will better motivate people to get tested since “the more often you get tested, the more likely you are to showcase results and the more attractive you become in an online dating setting.”
Bastani himself has observed that “all dating online is moving to the mobile phone anyway… with location based dating” in an emerging trend that he calls “flash dating.”
Bastani asserts that Qpid “will never be a dating site,” but that he regards the service as “an added benefit on top of any way people want to meet up.”