"The VeriChip, the size of a grain of rice, is inserted under the skin with a needle in a procedure that takes less than 20 minutes to complete." (MSN.com, Oct. 13, 2004)
FDA approves computer chip for humans
Some people says devices could help doctors with stored 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 that releases patient-specific information when a scanner passes over it.
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 visit.
The microchips have already been implanted in 1 million pets. But the chip’s possible dual use for tracking people’s movements — as well as speeding delivery of their medical information to emergency rooms — has raised alarm.
The company’s chief executive officer, Scott R. Silverman, is one of a half dozen executives who had chips implanted. Silverman said chips implanted for medical uses could also be used for security purposes, like tracking employee movement through nuclear power plants.