Microchips in medicine
Control the doctors’ prescriptions. Microchip in Blood Pressure Pills Nags Patients Who Skip Meds. Microchip implants linked to cancer in animal. Microchip Implants, Mind Control, and Cybernetics. Some about VeriChip. TI microchip technology in medicine.
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Moscow Medicine Academy
Essay: « Microchips in medicine »
2 year student group 1
Faculty of military training
Tutor: Karagezyan M. V.
Microchips in medicine
Control the doctors' prescriptions
Microchip in Blood Pressure Pills Nags Patients Who Skip Meds
Microchip implants linked to cancer in animal
Microchip Implants, Mind Control, and Cybernetics
Some about VeriChip
Testing the microchip(VeriChip) implants
TI microchip technology in medicine
Before long, sensors may be implanted in our bodies to do things like measure blood-glucose levels in diabetics or retinal pressure in glaucoma patients. But to be practical, they'll have to both be very small--as tiny as a grain of sand--and use long-lasting batteries of similarly small size, a combination not commercially available today.
Now researchers at the University of Michigan have made a processor that takes up just one millimeter square and whose power consumption is so low that emerging thin-film batteries of the same size could power it for 10 years or more, says David Blaauw, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Michigan and lead researcher on the project.
But when this processor, dubbed the Phoenix, is coupled with a battery, the whole package would only be a cubic millimeter in volume. At this scale, Blaauw says, it could be feasible to build the chip into a thick contact lens and use it to monitor pressure in the eye, which would be useful for glaucoma detection. It could also be implanted under the skin to sense glucose levels in subcutaneous fluid. More broadly, this low-power approach to processor design could be used in environmental sensors that monitor pollution, or structural health sensors, for instance.
Microchips in medicine
The much heralded 'microchip revolution' has made an impact in many fields - industrial automation, supermarket stock control and business accounting, to name but a few - and television games can occupy the new-found leisure of the community. However, the transition from manual operation to partial or full automation is not necessarily easy and may require a different approach on the part of the user. It is perhaps not surprising that the microchip has had very little impact on the practice of medicine as a whole at the present time.
At one end of the scale, special purpose processors are built into a wide variety of equipment such as blood gas analysers, devices for testing respiratory function or patient monitors. The user is often unaware that the machine is microprocessor based, but this may be advantageous in terms of increased reliability and versatility with reduced cost. In theory, improvements in system software may be readily incorporated, although in practice changes may not be passed on to the user and bugs in the system may be troublesome. Maintenance is also likely to be easier for the manufacturer, but faults may be difficult for the user to eradicate unless details of test and troubleshooting procedures are available. Computer-based body canners lie at the other end of the spectrum, where powerful computing facilities are required to control the system and process the signals from X-ray or other detectors.
These devices rely on high-speed dedicated computers for their operation, and the low cost and ready availability of suitable microprocessors have helped to make these machines a commercial reality. This development has had an enormous impact on clinical practice. In addition, there are many computer applications, using general purpose or dedicated machines, which have only an indirect effect on patient care. Data processing and retrieval systems, which may vary in size from simple pocket calculators to large computer installations, are well established particularly for financial transactions and may also be used for stock control, clinical chemistry and other well defined purposes. However, the fully developed computer-based hospital information system, although heralded for more than a decade, remains unimplemented. This is largely due to the inflexibility of many computer systems and the difficulties of providing the system with accurate and up-to-date information. Less amibitious schemes have been developed for teaching, patient interrogation and other purposes. These are often used very successfully in the centres where they were developed, but may languish when transferred to other institutions.
This is not necessarily surprising in view of the individualistic nature of medical practice,idiosyncrasies of systems designers or programmers and lack of compatibility between equipment from different manufacturers. Thus the benefits of microprocessor-based systems, whether for information retrieval or process control, are best seen in service (such as radiology and pathology) and administrative departments of the hospital, and computers have made little or no direct impact on clinical practice.
However, it must not be forgotten that successive generations of medical students are becoming increasingly exposed to computing techniques. It is the attitude of tomorrow's consultants and of the patients under their care, as much as the development of new technology, which will determine the place of computing in the day-today care of patients in the future
Control the doctors' prescriptions
The company is testing technology that inserts a tiny microchip into each pill swallowed and sends a reminder to patients by text message if they fail to follow their doctors' prescriptions.
The partnership with Proteus Biomedical, which originally developed the technology, is one of several alliances under development by Novartis as it and rival pharmaceuticals companies attempt to maintain high prices for innovative medicines by ensuring that they are taken as the doctor ordered. Pfizer's Health Solutions division has developed a system to telephone patients to encourage them to take medicine.
Joe Jimenez, head of pharmaceuticals at Novartis, said tests using the system - which broadcasts from the “chip in the pill” to a receiver on the shoulder - on 20 patients using Diovan, a drug to lower blood pressure, had boosted “compliance” with prescriptions from 30 per cent to 80 per cent after six months.
The experiment comes amid rising concern among governments and health insurers that they are not seeing the health improvements claimed by drugs companies because patients do not take the medicines as prescribed unless they are closely supervised in clinical trials.
Compliance often drops off rapidly for patients, especially those taking medicines for chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. This is because of unpleasant side effects or because patients do not rapidly develop symptoms and so fail to notice the value of the drug. However, with patients then going on to develop more serious forms of illness and require hospitalisation or surgery, the result is hundreds of millions of dollars a year in unnecessary costs.
Microchip in Blood Pressure Pills Nags Patients Who Skip Meds
Sometimes, new technology is both creepy and common sense. Take, for example, a system Novartis is testing for reminding patients to take their blood pressure meds.
The company is testing inserting tiny microchips into the pills as part of a system that tracks whether patients are taking their meds as prescribed. When patients veer off course, they get a text message reminder.
The technology has significantly improved adherence in a very small group of patients taking the company's blood pressure medicine Diovan, a Novartis exec tells the Financial Times.
Getting patients to consistently take drugs for chronic conditions like high blood pressure can be a problem. The drugs sometimes cause side effects, and failing to take them can raise long-term risks for strokes and heart attacks without causing any immediate symptoms.
Novartis is partnering on the project with a small company called Proteus Biomedical, one of several companies mentioned in this August WSJ story that looked at the push to use wireless technology to try and keep people healthier -- an effort that has also drawn big players like Qualcomm and Intel, the piece noted.
“This industry is starting to explode,” said Mr Jimenez, adding that he was close to recruiting a “compliance tsar” to oversee a wide range of other partnerships and programmes to strengthen appropriate use of medicines.
Mr Jimenez stressed that Novartis would still need to work closely with regulators and doctors to overcome any concerns, and negotiate an exclusive contract with Proteus in order to expand the approach. But he was confident that such approaches to boost compliance would be widespread in the future.
Microchip implants linked to cancer in animal
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients' medical records almost instantly. The FDA found "reasonable assurance" the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005's top "innovative technologies."
But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.
"The transponders were the cause of the tumors," said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining the findings of a 1996 study he led.
Leading cancer specialists reviewed the research for The Associated Press and, while cautioning that animal test results do not necessarily apply to humans, said the findings troubled them. Some said they would not allow family members to receive implants, and all urged further research before the glass-encased transponders are widely implanted in people.
To date, about 2,000 radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips have been implanted in humans worldwide, according to VeriChip Corp. The company, which sees a target market of 45 million Americans for its medical monitoring chips, insists the devices are safe.
"We stand by our implantable products which have been approved by the FDA and/or other U.S. regulatory authorities," said Scott Silverman, chairman and chief executive officer of the Delray Beach, Fla. company.
Management was "not aware of any studies that have resulted in malignant tumors" in laboratory animals, but he added that millions of pets have been implanted with microchips, without reports of significant problems.
The FDA also stands by its approval of the technology, but declined repeated AP requests to specify what studies it reviewed before approving the implants.
The agency is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, which, at the time of VeriChip's approval, was headed by Tommy Thompson. Two weeks after the device's approval took effect on Jan. 10, 2005, Thompson left his Cabinet post, and by July was a board member of VeriChip Corp. and its parent company, Applied Digital Solutions. He was compensated in cash and stock options.
Thompson, until recently a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, says he had no personal relationship with the company as the VeriChip was being evaluated, and played no role in FDA's approval.
Also making no mention of the findings on animal tumors was a June report by the ethics committee of the American Medical Association, which touted the benefits of implantable RFID devices.
Had committee members reviewed, or even been aware of, the literature on cancer in chipped animals?
No, said Dr. Steven Stack, an AMA board member.
Study results Published in veterinary and toxicology journals between 1996 and 2006, the studies found that lab mice and rats injected with microchips sometimes developed subcutaneous "sarcomas" - malignant tumors, most of them encasing the implants.
-A 1998 study in Ridgefield, Conn., of 177 mice reported cancer incidence to be slightly higher than 10 percent - a result the researchers described as "surprising."
-A 2006 study in France detected tumors in 4.1 percent of 1,260 microchipped mice. This was one of six studies in which the scientists did not set out to find microchip-induced cancer but noticed the growths incidentally. They were testing compounds on behalf of chemical and pharmaceutical companies; but they ruled out the compounds as the tumors' cause.
-In 1997, a study in Germany found cancers in 1 percent of 4,279 chipped mice. The tumors "are clearly due to the implanted microchips," the authors wrote.
Caveats accompanied the findings. "Blind leaps from the detection of tumors to the prediction of human health risk should be avoided," one study cautioned. Also, because none of the studies had a control group of animals that did not get chips, the normal rate of tumors cannot be determined and compared to the rate with chips implanted.
Still, specialists at some pre-eminent cancer institutions said the findings raised red flags.
"There's no way in the world, having read this information, that I would have one of those chips implanted in my skin, or in one of my family members," said Dr. Robert Benezra, head of the Cancer Biology Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Before humans are implanted on a large scale, he said, testing should be done on larger animals, such as dogs or monkeys. Sarcomas are life-threatening, he said, "and given the preliminary animal data, it looks to me that there's definitely cause for concern."
Dr. George Demetri, director of the Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said even though the tumor incidences were "reasonably small," the research underscored "certainly real risks" in RFID implants.
In humans, sarcomas, which strike connective tissues, can range from the highly curable to "tumors that are incredibly aggressive and can kill people in three to six months," he said.
At the Jackson Laboratory in Maine, a leader in mouse genetics research and the initiation of cancer, Dr. Oded Foreman, a forensic pathologist, also reviewed the studies at the AP's request. Noting that control mice, which had received no test chemicals, also developed the cancers, he said: "That might be a little hint that something real is happening here."
Dr. Cheryl London, a veterinarian oncologist at Ohio State University, noted it's easier to cause cancer in mice than people. "So it may be that what you're seeing in mice represents an exaggerated phenomenon of what may occur in people."
Tens of thousands of dogs have been chipped, she said, and veterinary pathologists haven't reported outbreaks of related sarcomas. (Published reports detailing malignant tumors in two chipped dogs turned up in AP's four-month examination of research on chips and health. In one dog, the researchers said cancer appeared linked to the presence of the embedded chip; in the other, the cancer's cause was uncertain.)
Nonetheless, London saw a need for a 20-year study of chipped canines. Dr. Chand Khanna, a veterinary oncologist at the National Cancer Institute, also backed such a study, saying current evidence "does suggest some reason to be concerned about tumor formations."
Meanwhile, the animal study findings should be disclosed to anyone considering a chip implant, the cancer specialists agreed.
VeriChip wins approval
The product that VeriChip Corp. won approval for use in humans is an electronic capsule the size of two grains of rice. Generally, it is implanted with a syringe into the anesthetized upper arm. When scanned, it transmits a code that allows medics to access a patient's medical records. VeriChip Corp. sees an initial market of diabetics and people with heart conditions or Alzheimer's disease.
Did the FDA review literature on microchip implants and animal cancer before approving the VeriChip?
Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a privacy advocate and RFID expert, asked shortly after VeriChip's approval what evidence the agency had reviewed. When FDA declined to provide information, she filed a Freedom of Information Act request, and eventually received a letter stating there were no documents matching her request.
"The public relies on the FDA to evaluate all the data and make sure the devices it approves are safe," she says, "but if they're not doing that, who's covering our backs?"
Late last year, Albrecht unearthed three studies noting cancerous tumors in some chipped mice and rats, plus a reference in another study to a chipped dog with a tumor. She forwarded them to the AP, which subsequently found three additional mice studies with similar findings, plus another report of a chipped dog with a tumor.
Asked if it had taken these studies into account, the FDA said VeriChip documents were being kept confidential to protect trade secrets. After AP filed a FOIA request, the FDA made available for a phone interview Anthony Watson, who was in charge of the VeriChip approval process.
"At the time we reviewed this, I don't remember seeing anything like that," he said of animal studies linking microchips to cancer.
Watson added: "The few articles from the literature that did discuss adverse tissue reactions similar to those in the articles you provided, describe the responses as foreign body reactions that are typical of other implantable devices. The balance of the data provided in the submission supported approval of the device."
Dr. Neil Lipman, director of the Research Animal Resource Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, said microchips aren't like pacemakers, which are vital to keeping someone alive, "so at this stage, the payoff doesn't justify the risks."
Tommy Thompson speaks
And what of former HHS secretary Thompson?
When asked what role, if any, he played in VeriChip's approval, Thompson replied: "I had nothing to do with it. And if you look back at my record, you will find that there has never been any improprieties whatsoever."
Thompson vigorously campaigned for electronic medical records and health-care technology both as governor of Wisconsin and at HHS. While in President Bush's Cabinet, he formed a "medical innovation" task force, partnering FDA with companies developing information technologies.
At a "Medical Innovation Summit" on Oct. 20, 2004, Lester Crawford, the FDA's acting commissioner, thanked the secretary for getting the agency "deeply involved in the use of new information technology to help prevent medication error." One notable example: "the implantable chips and scanners of the VeriChip system our agency approved last week."
After joining the company, Thompson received options on 166,667 shares of VeriChip Corp. stock, and options on an additional 100,000 shares of stock from its parent company, according to SEC records. He also received $40,000 in cash in 2005 and again in 2006, the filings show.
The Project on Government Oversight called Thompson's actions "unacceptable" even though they did not violate what the independent watchdog group calls weak conflict-of-interest laws.
Thompson, who left VeriChip Corp. in March, is a partner at a Washington law firm that was paid $1.2 million for legal services it provided the chip maker in 2005 and 2006, according to SEC filings
Microchip Implants, Mind Control, and Cybernetics
in 1948 Norbert Weiner published a book, Cybernetics, defined as a neurological communication and control theory already in use in small circles at that time. Yoneji Masuda, "Father of the Information Society," stated his concern in 1980 that our liberty is threatened Orwellian-style by cybernetic technology totally unknown to most people. This technology links the brains of people via implanted microchips to satellites controlled by ground-based supercomputers.
The first brain implants were surgically inserted in 1974 in the state of Ohio, USA and also in Stockholm, Sweden. Brain electrodes were inserted into the skulls of babies in 1946 without the knowledge of their parents. In the 1950s and 60s, electrical implants were inserted into the brains of animals and humans, especially in the U.S., during research into behavior modification, and brain and body functioning. Mind control (MC) methods were used in attempts to change human behavior and attitudes. Influencing brain functions became an important goal of military and intelligence services.
Thirty years ago brain implants showed up in X-rays the size of one centimeter. Subsequent implants shrunk to the size of a grain of rice. They were made of silicon, later still of gallium arsenide. Today they are small enough to be inserted into the neck or back, and also intravenously in different parts of the body during surgical operations, with or without the consent of the subject. It is now almost impossible to detect or remove them.
It is technically possible for every newborn to be injected with a microchip, which could then function to identify the person for the rest of his or her life. Such plans are secretly being discussed in the U.S. without any public airing of the privacy issues involved. In Sweden, Prime Minister Olof Palme gave permission in 1973 to implant prisoners, and Data Inspection's ex-Director General Jan Freese revealed that nursing-home patients were implanted in the mid-1980s. The technology is revealed in the 1972:47 Swedish state report, Statens Officiella Utradninger (SOU).
Implanted human beings can be followed anywhere. Their brain functions can be remotely monitored by supercomputers and even altered through the changing of frequencies. Guinea pigs in secret experiments have included prisoners, soldiers, mental patients, handicapped children, deaf and blind people, homosexuals, single women, the elderly, school children, and any group of people considered "marginal" by the elite experimenters. The published experiences of prisoners in Utah State Prison, for example, are shocking to the conscience.
Today's microchips operate by means of low-frequency radio waves that target them. With the help of satellites, the implanted person can be tracked anywhere on the globe. Such a technique was among a number tested in the Iraq war, according to Dr. Carl Sanders, who invented the intelligence-manned interface (IMI) biotic, which is injected into people. (Earlier during the Vietnam War, soldiers were injected with the Rambo chip, designed to increase adrenaline flow into the bloodstream.) The 20-billion-bit/second supercomputers at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) could now "see and hear" what soldiers experience in the battlefield with a remote monitoring system (RMS).
When a 5-micromillimeter microchip (the diameter of a strand of hair is 50 micromillimeters) is placed into optical nerve of the eye, it draws neuroimpulses from the brain that embody the experiences, smells, sights, and voice of the implanted person. Once transferred and stored in a computer, these neuroimpulses can be projected back to the person's brain via the microchip to be reexperienced. Using a RMS, a land-based computer operator can send electromagnetic messages (encoded as signals) to the nervous system, affecting the target's performance. With RMS, healthy persons can be induced to see hallucinations and to hear voices in their heads.
Every thought, reaction, hearing, and visual observation causes a certain neurological potential, spikes, and patterns in the brain and its electromagnetic fields, which can now be decoded into thoughts, pictures, and voices. Electromagnetic stimulation can therefore change a person's brainwaves and affect muscular activity, causing painful muscular cramps experienced as torture.
The NSA's electronic surveillance system can simultaneously follow and handle millions of people. Each of us has a unique bioelectrical resonance frequency in the brain, just as we have unique fingerprints. With electromagnetic frequency (EMF) brain stimulation fully coded, pulsating electromagnetic signals can be sent to the brain, causing the desired voice and visual effects to be experienced by the target. This is a form of electronic warfare. U.S. astronauts were implanted before they were sent into space so their thoughts could be followed and all their emotions could be registered 24 hours a day.
The Washington Post reported in May 1995 that Prince William of Great Britain was implanted at the age of 12. Thus, if he were ever kidnapped, a radio wave with a specific frequency could be targeted to his microchip. The chip's signal would be routed through a satellite to the computer screen of police headquarters, where the Prince's movements could be followed. He could actually be located anywhere on the globe.
The mass media has not reported that an implanted person's privacy vanishes for the rest of his or her life. S/he can be manipulated in many ways. Using different frequencies, the secret controller of this equipment can even change a person's emotional life. S/he can be made aggressive or lethargic. Sexuality can be artificially influenced. Thought signals and subconscious thinking can be read, dreams affected and even induced, all without the knowledge or consent of the implanted person.
A perfect cyber-soldier can thus be created. This secret technology has been used by military forces in certain NATO countries since the 1980s without civilian and academic populations having heard anything about it. Thus, little information about such invasive mind-control systems is available in professional and academic journals.
The NSA's Signals Intelligence group can remotely monitor information from human brains by decoding the evoked potentials (3.50HZ, 5 milliwatt) emitted by the brain. Prisoner experimentees in both Gothenburg, Sweden and Vienna, Austria have been found to have evident brain lesions. Diminished blood circulation and lack of oxygen in the right temporal frontal lobes result where brain implants are usually operative. A Finnish experimentee experienced brain atrophy and intermittent attacks of unconsciousness due to lack of oxygen.
Mind control techniques can be used for political purposes. The goal of mind controllers today is to induce the targeted persons or groups to act against his or her own convictions and best interests. Zombified individuals can even be programmed to murder and remember nothing of their crime afterward. Alarming examples of this phenomenon can be found in the U.S.
This “silent war” is being conducted against unknowing civilians and soldiers by military and intelligence agencies. Since 1980, electronic stimulation of the brain (ESB) has been secretly used to control people targeted without their knowledge or consent. All international human rights agreements forbid nonconsensual manipulation of human beings -- even in prisons, not to speak of civilian populations.
Under an initiative of U.S. Senator John Glenn, discussions commenced in January 1997 about the dangers of radiating civilian populations. Targeting people's brain functions with electromagnetic fields and beams (from helicopters and airplanes, satellites, from parked vans, neighboring houses, telephone poles, electrical appliances, mobile phones, TV, radio, etc.) is part of the radiation problem that should be addressed in democratically elected government bodies.
In addition to electronic MC, chemical methods have also been developed. Mind-altering drugs and different smelling gasses affecting brain function negatively can be injected into air ducts or water pipes. Bacteria and viruses have also been tested this way in several countries.
Today's supertechnology, connecting our brain functions via microchips (or even without them, according to the latest technology) to computers via satellites in the U.S. or Israel, poses the gravest threat to humanity. The latest supercomputers are powerful enough to monitor the whole world's population. What will happen when people are tempted by false premises to allow microchips into their bodies? One lure will be a microchip identity card. Compulsory legislation has even been secretly proposed in the U.S. to criminalize removal of an ID implant.
Are we ready for the robotization of mankind and the total elimination of privacy, including freedom of thought? How many of us would want to cede our entire life, including our most secret thoughts, to Big Brother? Yet the technology exists to create a totalitarian New World Order. Covert neurological communication systems are in place to counteract independent thinking and to control social and political activity on behalf of self-serving private and military interests.
When our brain functions are already connected to supercomputers by means of radio implants and microchips, it will be too late for protest. This threat can be defeated only by educating the public, using available literature on biotelemetry and information exchanged at international congresses.
One reason this technology has remained a state secret is the widespread prestige of the psychiatric Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV produced by the U.S. American Psychiatric Association (APA) and printed in 18 languages. Psychiatrists working for U.S. intelligence agencies no doubt participated in writing and revising this manual. This psychiatric "bible" covers up the secret development of MC technologies by labeling some of their effects as symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.
Victims of mind control experimentation are thus routinely diagnosed, knee-jerk fashion, as mentally ill by doctors who learned the DSM “symptom” list in medical school. Physicians have not been schooled that patients may be telling the truth when they report being targeted against their will or being used as guinea pigs for electronic, chemical and bacteriological forms of psychological warfare.
Time is running out for changing the direction of military medicine, and ensuring the future of human freedom
microchip implant technology medicine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved an implantable computer chip that can pass along a patient's medical details to doctors, providing easy access to individual medical records.
Applied Digital Solutions, which manufactures VeriChips, radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips the size of a grain of rice, have already been used to identify lost pets and livestock. But this marks the first time the FDA has approved the use of the device in humans for medical purposes.
The microchip is inserted under the skin of the arm or hand with a syringe in a procedure that takes less than 20 minutes and leaves no visible marks. The dormant chip stores a code similar to a UPC code on products sold in retail stores. At a doctor's office, unique16-digit codes are stamped onto chips. Emergency-room personnel and ambulance crews equipped with handheld radio scanners would be able to read the number on the chip. When a scanner passes over a chip, its code reveals patient-specific information such as known allergies, blood type, and prior treatments. The chip does not contain any records, but with the identifying number, healthcare providers would be able to retrieve critical medical data stored in computers. The records could be easily updated.
In Mexico, more than 1,000 scannable chips have been implanted in patients. The chip's serial number pulls up the patients' blood type and other medical information. But the chips can be used for more than just medical purposes. Mexico's attorney general and nearly 200 people working in his office have been implanted with chips so they can access secure areas containing sensitive documents related to Mexico's drug cartels. Similarly, British company Surge IT Solutions recently signed an agreement with VeriChip to use the technology to control access to government facilities.
Club-goers in Barcelona, Spain, now use a similar chip like a smart card to speed their drink orders and payments. About 50 patrons of the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona have had the chip implanted so they wouldn't have to carry around identification and credit cards.
Applied Digital Solutions has tried to deflect privacy concerns by arguing that the implantation of chips is voluntary and the only records linked to a VeriChip will be those authorized by the person with the chip. But critics fear that eventually employers, government authorities, and others may dictate how the technology is used. For example, soldiers could be required by the government to have a chip implanted for military identification purposes.
Current scanners cannot read the passive chips from more than a few feet away, but design advances or the addition of a separate power source for the chip could expand those ranges and make possible the tracking of individuals with the chips.
Despite privacy fears and possible technical glitches, such microchips will be added to U.S. passports this year. E-passports, also dubbed "smart passports," promise to deter theft and forgeries, as well as speed up immigration checks at airports and borders. The State Department recently asked four technology companies to create proposals for introducing e-passports to the public. The agency will begin issuing them to citizens by spring, starting with people renewing or seeking new passports through the Los Angeles Passport Agency. A State Department spokesperson said the department plans to produce more than 1 million e-passports by the end of 2005 and by 2006 it expects all new passports to feature the microchips.
The RFID microchips store basic data, including the passport holder's name, date of birth, and place of birth. They hold 64 kilobytes of memory, enough room to store biometric data including digital fingerprints, photos, and iris scans. The chips are designed to last 10 years and incorporate digital signature and encryption technology. The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security plan to install facial recognition systems at immigration checkpoints in airports and elsewhere in about one year. Facial recognition scanners will automatically compare a person's face to the data about their face stored in the RFID chips, making sure they match.
The chips, which will be embedded in passport covers, can instantly broadcast their data to immigration officials with the right scanning equipment from a few feet away. This would allow officials to compare the information on the chip with the rest of the passport and the person carrying it.
VeriChip Planning Implantable Glucose Monitoring Device; The device, embedded on an RFID chip, could face an uphill battle in the face of cancer reports.
Some about VeriChip
VeriChip, along with its parent company Digital Angel and partner Receptors, is developing a bio-sensing device that would be included in a subdermal RFID chip that could lead to diabetics no longer having to stick themselves with a needle to monitor glucose levels.
The companies will host an event in New York Dec. 5 to announce plans to build a prototype self-contained implantable device that will have the ability to measure glucose levels in the human body.
However, despite the possibility of doing away with a lifetime of needle pricks for diabetics, VeriChip may be fighting an uphill battle. In September, the Associated Press ran a story that said that both VeriChip and the Food and Drug Administration failed to mention a series of veterinary and toxicology studies dating to the mid-1990s that showed VeriChip's implants had caused malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.
According to the AP article, from 1996 to 2006, a number of studies reported incidences of malignant tumors in lab mice and rats that had been implanted with RFID chips; in some cases the tumors completely enveloped the chips.
Testing the microchip(VeriChip) implants
The VeriChip can provide medical and identity information when scanned.
Derek, his mom Leslie and his dad Jeffrey are the first volunteer test subjects for a new, implantable computer device called VeriChip. Later this spring, pending Food and Drug Administration approval, doctors will load a wide-bore needle with a microchip containing a few kilobytes of silicon memory and a tiny radio transmitter and inject it under the skin of their left arms, where it will serve as a medical identification device. It sounds like science fiction. (Remember the Borg on Star Trek? Resistance is futile!) But VeriChip is quite real. The Jacobs family could be the first in a new generation of computer-enhanced human beings.
With his school uniform and his plump, pinchable cheeks, Derek Jacobs of Boca Raton, Fla., looks like an ordinary youngster. But looks can deceive. When he was 12, Microsoft certified Derek as a qualified systems engineer, one of the youngest ever. At 13 he was running his own computer-consulting company. Now he's 14, and what's Derek doing for an encore? He's becoming a cyborg-part man-child, part machine.
Derek, his mom Leslie and his dad Jeffrey are the first volunteer test subjects for a new, implantable computer device called VeriChip. Later this spring, pending Food and Drug Administration approval, doctors will load a wide-bore needle with a microchip containing a few kilobytes of silicon memory and a tiny radio transmitter and inject it under the skin of their left arms, where it will serve as a medical identification device. It sounds like science fiction. (Remember the Borg on Star Trek? Resistance is futile!) But VeriChip is quite real. The Jacobs family could be the first in a new generation of computer-enhanced human beings. In some respects Derek is a regular eighth-grader. He's quiet and polite. He plays the drums. He used to be on the swim team before he quit to make time for his computer business. He remembers vividly when he first saw VeriChip on the Today show. “I thought it was great technology,” he says. “I wanted to be a part of it.” And when Derek sets his mind to a problem, he generally solves it. “Derek stood up and said to me, `Mom, I want to be the first kid implanted with the chip,'” remembers Leslie Jacobs, an advertising executive at Florida Design magazine. “He kept bugging me to call the company until I finally broke down.”
Leslie set up a lunch with Keith Bolton, vice president of Applied Digital Solutions, the company behind VeriChip. At first Bolton (who jokingly refers to the Jacobses as “the Chipsons”) was skeptical. Since the first wave of VeriChip publicity, he has heard from roughly 2,500 would-be cyborgs. But the Jacobs family is particularly well suited to test VeriChip for use in medicine. If a patient with VeriChip were injured, the theory goes, a harried ER doc could quickly access the victim's medical background by scanning the chip with a device that looks like a Palm handheld computer.
In the case of the Jacobses, that could be a lifesaver. Derek has allergies to common antibiotics, and Jeffrey is weakened from years of treatment for Hodgkin's disease. A few years ago, he was in a serious car accident; and when he got to the hospital, he was in no shape to explain his condition to the staff. “The advantage of the chip is that the information is available at the time of need,” Jeffrey explains. “It would speak for me, give me a voice when I don't have one.”
The operation to insert the chip is simple. “It takes about seven seconds,” says Dr. Richard Seelig, the company's medical-applications director, exaggerating only slightly. An antiseptic swab, a local anesthetic, an injection and a Band-Aid-that's all it takes. Once the skin heals, Seelig says, the chip is completely invisible, and the Jacobses will hardly know it's there. “The chip is fully biocompatible,” Bolton says. “No body fluids can get in, and nothing can be loosened or come out.”
Applied Digital Solutions-which is trademarking the phrase “Get Chipped!”-has big plans for its little device. In the next few years, it wants to add sensors that will read your vital signs-pulse, temperature, blood sugar and so on-and a satellite receiver that can track where you are. The company makes a pager-like gadget called Digital Angel that does both those things, and its engineers are doing their darnedest to cram Digital Angel's functions into a package small enough to implant. Once they do, VeriChip will be very powerful indeed. That's one of the reasons the Jacobses want to get involved. “There are endless possibilities,” says Derek. “For me it's marvelous,” says Leslie. “Every day I worry about my husband. We definitely feel it will make us all feel more secure.”
Security is part of the VeriChip business plan. The company has already signed a deal with the California department of corrections to track the movements of parolees using Digital Angel. Seelig believes VeriChip could function as a theftproof, counterfeit-proof ID, like having a driver's license embedded under your skin. He suggests that airline crews could wear one to ensure that terrorists don't infiltrate the cockpit in disguise. “I travel quite a bit,” he says, “and I want to make sure the pilots in that plane belong there.”
Could the airlines or government really require pilots to get chipped? “I think we have a right to demand that,” says Seelig. “Our lives are in their hands.” It sounds extreme, but there are precedents. In the early '90s several states considered laws that would have required female child abusers and women on welfare to wear birth-control implants. The proposals were not very popular. “There's a feeling that technology has outpaced the policy process,” says Steven Aftergood, a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. “We aren't in a position to apply these new devices with the wisdom and prudence that is needed.”
Prudent or not, implant technology is racing ahead with bionic speed. Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading in England, is working on the next step. In a few weeks, he will receive an implant that will wirelessly connect the nerves in his arm to a PC. The computer will record the activity of his nervous system and stimulate the nerves to produce small movements and sensations; such an implant could eventually help a person suffering from paralysis to move parts of the body the brain can't reach. If all goes well, Warwick will put a companion chip in his wife Irena and let the two implants communicate with each other. “If I move my finger, she'll feel something,” he explains. “We'll be closer than anybody's been before-nervous system to nervous system.”
There are plenty of skeptics, but Jeffrey Jacobs is not one of them. “People have been worried about Big Brother for years,” he says. “The three of us want to be part of not just this new technology but an evolution of humanity.”
The FDA is expected to approve the Jacobses' implants within two months, and there are other ways to speed up the evolution. Two weeks ago, Applied Digital Solutions signed a deal to distribute VeriChips in Brazil, where kidnapping has become epidemic, especially among the rich and powerful. Government officials hope that VeriChips implanted in people considered at high risk could be used to track victims via satellite. “Here [in the U.S.] we're still dealing with FDA and privacy and civil-liberties issues,” says Bolton. “But we're not stopping. We're going into South America right now!” Technology has a way of moving faster than legislation, and if it comes down to a race between cyborgs and Senators, guess who will win? Resistance is futile.
TI microchip technology in medicine
The first bites of pizza fall into your eager stomach. All feels great, until you grab that extra slice and your gastric pacemaker awakens.
The tiny device, which doctors sewed onto your gut, watches what you eat. Whenever you overindulge, a faint shock makes you too ill for more.
Science fiction? No. The gastric pacemaker exists, and it's just one of many medical prototypes that run on microchips from Texas Instruments Inc.
Using TI's digital signal processor controller, the Boston Digital Arm gives amputees greater movement.
The Dallas-based company, which grew rich by planting tiny devices in machines, hopes to grow richer by planting them in you. It also hopes to heal many ills and enrich the Dallas area, where existing centers for medical research and mobile computing may spawn a medical computing hub.
"The potential is incredible," said TI chief executive Rich Templeton, explaining his company's plans for medical technology at a conference last week. "We're talking projects like restoring sight to the blind."
Indeed, researchers at theUniversity of Southern California can already make blind patients "see."
Camera glasses send video to a computerized belt, which translates digital images to electrical pulses for the brain. Patients today see blocky images that evoke early video games. It's enough to navigate everyday tasks, though, and improvements are in the works.
The improving tie between tissue and silicon also underlies a new generation of artificial limbs.
Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have attached a mechanical arm, one wire per nerve, to a volunteer's shoulder. The man can now use his mind to move fingers, hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.
A closeup of the Boston Digital Arm.
The device still lacks the control needed for pro sports or safecracking, but it's an honest-to-goodness bionic arm.
"The cells sit right on top of the chips and talk to one another," said Dr. Dennis Stone, vice president for technology development at the Dallas hospital and research center.
"We're at the dawn of something huge, and Dallas is right in the middle of it."
The promise of microchip medicine lies not only in bionic body parts, but also long-term care for chronic problems.
The same TI chips that turn plastic boxes into cellphones can also turn pacemakers into cellphones.
Prototype devices already reduce arduous office visits by sending information directly from a patient's chest to a doctor's computer. A smart pacemaker may someday sense a pending heart attack, call 911 and use a built-in GPS device to guide medics to a patient in crisis.
Other chip-based devices may prevent that heart attack from ever happening.
Engineers have used TI chips in prototype systems that constantly measure blood pressure. When readings get too high, the system zaps the gland that expands blood vessels during exercise. When blood vessels expand, blood pressure decreases.
Drugs can also cut blood pressure, of course, but current medications sedate patients and produce other annoying side effects.
Using TI's digital signal processor controller, the Boston Digital Arm gives amputees greater movement.
Smart implants may produce fewer side effects when treating many conditions that drugs treat today. Blood thinners, antidepressants, painkillers: Those and other drugs work by affecting chemical levels inside your body. Smart mechanical devices, in theory, could eliminate the imprecision by telling your body exactly how to fix itself.
To date, the total annual sales of medical microchips by all companies is just $2 billion.
Texas Instruments estimates it generated less than $200 million of its $14 billion revenue, but the potential market is enormous.
The world market for medical devices is $100 billion and growing by double-digit increments as machines do more and more. World drug sales exceeded $600 billion last year.
TI execs think they're particularly well-positioned to infiltrate those markets.
The same attributes that suit chips for cellphones and other mobile devices - small size, low power consumption - suit them for human bodies.
TI also markets analog chips, chips that detect not ones and zeros but the vibrations, chemicals and electrical pulses the body uses to control itself.
"We may design custom chips once a technology nears major production, but researchers mostly use our existing products. We're getting a shot at a big new market without risking too many research dollars," said Doug Rasor, TI's vice president for emerging medical technologies.
TI does spend money looking for talent and supplying its existing chips to promising researchers. The company says it's easier to get in at the ground floor than to win converts who have designed products with chips from other companies.
Mr. Rasor says it may take several years for the medical technology division to land a runaway hit. Testing requirements tend to slow medical progress, which is why the decoding of the human genome has yet to bring many new drugs to market.
Medical devices face fewer regulatory hurdles than drugs, though. TI hopes to cut the lapse between great idea and marketed product to three years. It seems an eternity to computer researchers but an eye blink compared with drugs, which generally take more than a decade to reach pharmacy shelves.
"Devices offer much faster time to market than pharmaceuticals," said Mir Imran, chief executive of InCube Laboratories and a major backer of the gastric pacemaker. "Today's new devices will be helping patients when today's new chemicals are still many years from government approval.
Microchips - The Future Of Medication
Do you ever forget to take your medication/pills? Well this future device
created by MicroCHIPS, Inc., has developed a device that can be preloaded with up to 100 doses of medicine, implanted in the body and programmed to administer the drug through wireless signals. The new system has been designed primarily to help deliver medicines that are less effective when taken orally. It has been successful in tests with dogs. And should be available in 5 years.
Also another microchip is one that is in the pills. the chip is 1mm wide, once swallowed and digested, wireless signals are sent through the patients cell phone to their doctor so they can monitor the patient making sure they took their medication and monitoring complications. This is currently being tested in the UK.
I believe that having a microchip that will give you your medication will be good and can help a lot of people. But being monitored by people is a violation of privacy. Only certain people should be subject to this.
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