Vivian Shi

Date of Award


First Advisor

Michael Bergman

Second Advisor

Sarah Snyder


The current thesis explores a novel digital platform for STI test recommendations, treatment, and education– deSTIgma: the STI Recommendation App and Website – developed by a group of 5 biomedical engineering students at Columbia University of the City of New York. Before detailing the platform itself, a scene will be set of the birth of the telehealth industry and its recent explosion during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Next, this thesis will describe relevant previously developed STI identification apps, including their strengths and weaknesses, and potential reasons for their failure or delay in reaching a mainstream audience. An overview of the deSTIgma platform will then be provided, followed by a detailed explanation of the risk assessment algorithm architecture, development process, affiliated services, educational components, and plans for future commercialization. The development process includes building both front-end (website and app interface) and back-end (algorithm training and results) functionalities. The thesis will conclude with a summary of the impacts and long-term goals of the platform and its development team. The details regarding an human research study submitted for approval to the Columbia Institutional Review Board as well as a proposed hypothetical for-profit business plan are included in the APPENDICES.

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