Hardware & Infrastructure
News
10/14/2004
11:37 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

FDA Approves RFID Tags For Humans

VeriChip says its RFID chip could save lives and prevent medical mistakes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the country's first radio-frequency identification chip that can be implanted in humans.

The 134.2-KHz RFID chips could save lives and possibly limit injuries from errors in medical treatments, according to VeriChip Corp., a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions Inc. The FDA approval was disclosed Tuesday during a conference call with investors.

VeriChip believes so strongly in the chip's viability that it has tested it on one of its own: The company's VP of medical applications, Dr. Richard Seelig. When Selig resigned from his New Jersey medical practice in 2001 to work at VeriChip, he had no idea that one day he'd implant under his skin two RFID chips meant to locate dogs. "It didn't occur to me until the terrorist attack on 9/11," Seelig says. "That's what motivated me to take the project to another level."

The chips could provide easy access to medical information for individuals with life-threatening diseases, and could be particularly useful during a medical crisis, according to the company. "It empowers people to know and manage their health-care issues in an emergency situation at a very critical time," Seelig says. It also could be used to keep track of other implantable devices, such as a pacemaker, a patient might have. The tag could alert doctors of the implants during surgery and relay necessary information about those implants, such as the size and manufacturer. Also, patients could remain better informed in the event of any device recalls.

VeriChip suggests the chip be inserted in the rear part of the triceps of the right arm under the skin. The company plans to market the chip for $125 (not including implantation). The chip doesn't contain any medical records, but its 16-digit number could be linked to a database of patient medical information. When the tag is scanned, the number could be quickly cross-referenced to reveal specific medical data about the patient.

The tags are similar to those being embedded in livestock and pets as a form of identification to track mad-cow disease or tuberculosis. Although VeriChip has yet to sign on customers in the United States, Rafael Macedo de la Concha, Mexico's attorney general, in July said he and 160 of his staffers had received implanted chips from VeriChip that will be used to control access to rooms and documents considered vital in Mexico's struggle with drug cartels.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.