VeriChip RFID Tag Patient Implant Badges Now FDA Approved
The Food and Drug Administration has given final approval to Applied Digital Solutions to sell their VeriChip RFID tags for implantation into patients in hospitals. The intent is to provide immediate positive identification of patients both in hospitals and in emergencies. Doctors, emergency-room personnel and ambulance crews could get immediate identification without resorting to looking for wallets and purses for ID. If, for example, you had a pre-existing medical condition or allergy, this could be taken into account immediately.
The Federal Drug Administration has approved a final review process to determine whether hospitals can use VeriChip RFID tags to identify patients. The 11-millimeter RFID tags will be implanted in the fatty tissue of the upper arm. The estimated life of the tags is twenty years.
The VeriChip is a radio frequency identification (RFID) device that is injected just below the skin; the subdermal RFID tag location is invisible to the naked eye. A unique verification number is transmitted to a suitable reader when the person is within range.
The FDA ruling is not to allow implantation in humans; this has already been established. The purpose of the review is to examine privacy issues.
Kevin Wiley, CEO of VeriChip Corporation, stated:
"We continue to market and sell VeriChip internationally primarily for the security application. As evidenced by the recent chipping of Mexico's Attorney General and his staff, the VeriChip technology provides first-of-a-kind tamper-proof and secure applications. These applications can also occur with medical records and medical device information. We look forward to the de novo process and the ultimate conclusion of the regulatory process."
SF fans may recall that in the world of The Computer Connection, written by Alfred Bester in 1974, most people have chips called skull bugs for identification and monitoring implanted at birth.
About one thousand of VeriChip RFID tags have been inserted into humans so far; most of the sales have been outside the U.S.