FDA Approves Use of Chip in Patients

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 10/13/2004 - 15:46.

Big Brother is watching, so NEOans may as well leverage our medical industry strengths to lead this field. Read the AP newsclip below and consider how this technology application offers opportunity here - networking, information technology, biotechnology, medical information systems, etc. .. no rocket science required


FDA Approves Use of Chip
in Patients


Published: October 13,

Filed at 10:02 a.m. ET

Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved an implantable computer chip
that can pass a patient's medical details to doctors, speeding care.

VeriChips, radio
frequency microchips the size of a grain of rice, have already been used to
identify wayward pets and livestock. And nearly 200 people working in Mexico's
attorney general's office have been implanted with chips to access secure areas
containing sensitive documents.

Delray Beach, Fla.-based
Applied Digital Solutions in July asked the FDA for approval to use the
implantable chip for medical uses in the United States. The agency had 60 days
to reply to the ``de novo'' application.

It's the first time the
FDA has approved the use of the device, though 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.

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 -- similar to the identifying UPC code on
products sold in retail stores -- that releases patient-specific information
when a scanner passes over the chip.

At the doctor's office
those codes stamped onto chips, once scanned, would reveal such information as
a patient's allergies and prior treatments.

The FDA in October 2002
said that the agency would regulate health care applications possible through
VeriChip. Meanwhile, the chip has been used for a number of security-related
tasks as well as for pure whimsy: Club hoppers in Barcelona, Spain, now use the
microchip much like a smartcard to speed drink orders and payment.

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