FDA approves computer chip for humans
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON Medical milestone or privacy invasion? A tiny
computer chip approved Wednesday for implantation in a
patient's arm can speed vital information about a patient's
medical history to doctors and hospitals. But critics warn that it
could open new ways to imperil the confidentiality of medical
The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that
Applied Digital Solutions of Delray Beach, Fla., could market the
VeriChip, an implantable computer chip about the size of a
grain of rice, for medical purposes.
With the pinch of a syringe, the microchip is inserted under the
skin in a procedure that takes less than 20 minutes and leaves
no stitches. Silently and invisibly, the dormant chip stores a
code that releases patient-specific information when a scanner
passes over it.
Think UPC code. The identifier, emblazoned on a food item,
brings up its name and price on the cashier's screen.
Chip's dual uses raise alarm
The VeriChip itself contains no medical records, just codes that
can be scanned, and revealed, in a doctor's office or hospital.
With that code, the health providers can unlock that portion of a
secure database that holds that person's medical information,
including allergies and prior treatment. The electronic
database, not the chip, would be updated with each medical
We've been chipped since the beginning - We've been chipped since the beginning