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FDA Approves Implantable RFID for Patients

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the track-your-friends dept.

Privacy 451

anzha writes "It seems that the FDA has approved an RFID tag for use in patients. The idea being that the rice grain sized chip would be implanted and scanned for patient history and updates. It seems that a similar chip was used by the Mexican government for employees that work with sensitive documents. IDK about you, but this seems a to me little...creepy."

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451 comments

Your Rights Online? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519323)

Anyone care to explain how this affects my rights online?

Re:Your Rights Online? (5, Insightful)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519378)

The fundamental potential for abuse is that since some institution now has a unique ID linked to you, somebody with access to the back-end databases will be able to know as much as the databases recorded.

Since the article doesn't say anything about expiry of said RFID tag, all hospitals and other institutions that want to use this technology will need to share your unique ID number amongst everybody, creating a meta-network of information all tracable to YOU.

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519499)

The fundamental potential for abuse is that since some institution now has a unique ID linked to you, somebody with access to the back-end databases will be able to know as much as the databases recorded.

everything can be abused with the right (wrong?) mindset. In this case, however, one must weigh the potential good against the possible abuse. In the past 5 years, I've moved 3 times, and have had 4 different primary care physicians. If I wanted to get all of my medical history complete and uptodate with my current doctor, I'd have a lot of work to do (and this doesn't include all the specialist consults I have had). Some sort of national medical database would alleviate this problem. I think the good here far outweighs the potential negatives of a few devious individuals who can now see that I had an ulcer in '97...

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519549)

You can obtain a complete medical record even by traditional pen-and-paper methods... sure it's slightly more inconvenient and probably cost a few dollars in photocopying, but you retain reasonable control over your files (which I think ultimately is the core issue at hand)

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

katarac (565789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519506)

Well, yeah, but he can still go to rotten.com if he wants...

Re:Your Rights Online? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519445)

Because it's RFID, man! Don't you understand, man, RFID = EVIL!!! If RFID is allowed, the government will track everyone by satellite and send black helicopters to take you off to a concentration camp and anal probe you all because you attended that anti-Bush rally. Then they'll sell your medical information to the national enquirer and all of your friends and neighbors will find out about your hemmoroid problems. Just remember man, RFID = EVIL!!!

Re:Your Rights Online? (2, Funny)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519500)

I got this Aluminium bracelet that goes right over the implant!

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519583)

Cool.

Good idea for borders (1, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519325)

This would be a great idea for our beleagured borders where there are not enough police. The communications stuff is great as well. But, mostly, I like the idea of the level of security you can get with such a system. I do hope that safeguards are put in place to avoid abuse.

Re:Good idea for borders (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519342)

I do hope that safeguards are put in place to avoid abuse

You must be new here....

Re:Good idea for borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519357)

I posted this under the wrong topic. I apologize. Posted A/C because I don't need two posts modded down.

Re:Good idea for borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519405)

I posted this under the wrong topic. I apologize. Posted A/C because I don't need two posts modded down.

Darn, and I thought that was a brilliant flamebait...er, discussion topic.

Re:Good idea for borders (5, Insightful)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519363)

This would be a great idea for our beleagured borders where there are not enough police.
Are you suggesting that all non-Americans be tagged and our thousands of miles of coast line be dotted every few hundred feet with RFID scanners?

I do hope that safeguards are put in place to avoid abuse.
Yes, because if there is one thing the government is good at, it would be respecting peoples privacy and safeguarding personal information.

Re:Good idea for borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519384)

I posted under the wrong topic. This post was for the previous topics about airships.

Re:Good idea for borders (2, Funny)

magarity (164372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519435)

our thousands of miles of coast line be dotted every few hundred feet

RFID only transmits a few feet, not a few hundred feet.

Look on the bright side; we'd be able to keep out the Mexican government workers who have security clearances.

Re:Good idea for borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519377)

Are you suggesting we implant illegal aliens? That's one way to lose the Hispanic vote.

We could implant criminals, thought -- it would be cheaper than the electronic bracelets we use for house arrest.

Fizzle pozizzle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519326)

topic

Creepy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519328)

/AOL

More hysteria (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519333)

If you have nothing to hide, there is nothing you need to be worried about.

Re:More hysteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519349)

...because we can all trust the government in everything, and they would never hurt us or do anything against the law *cough* *Cough* Iran-Contra *cough* *cough*

Re:More hysteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519556)

*cough cough* Surely you can think of a more recent example *cough cough*

Re:More hysteria (3, Insightful)

ethan_clark (204137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519388)

Problem is that part of the ideals that this country was founded on included the idea that the government was required to leave you alone unless they suspected you of doing something illegal. Giving the government, or any private organization the ability to monitor you (whether at a hospital or not -- for any reason, any place) with a technology that has an immense potential for misuse is quite a scary idea.

That's why the "If you've nothing to hide, you don't need to worry" line doesn't fly with me -- maybe if we lived in communist Russia, it would be a different story -- this is the US, and my freedom is important to me.

By itself, this seems like it could be a great idea with huge potential, but it's another drop in the bucket, if you ask me...

Re:More hysteria (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519472)

I think you're making too much of it in this particular situation. This is just like a hospital bracelet, only probably less uncomfortable, and less likely to get lost/damaged/chewed off by someone with dementia. I wouldn't expect anything like this for somebody who was just in for the day. This is the kind of thing that would mainly be needed for "lifers", or at least for people who need long-term rehabilitation. Just think of it as a more effective "Medic Alert".

Re:More hysteria (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519455)

That, and I have a pocketknife.

Defibrilator (4, Interesting)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519334)

My grandfathers defib has information stored on it, although I'm not sure its it's RFID.

What The Hell? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519339)

IDK about you, but this seems a to me little...creepy."

As opposed to the bracelets they currently slap on you that contain your name and info when you are admitted?

This is really that much worse and EVIL?

You people are un-fucking-believable.

Re:What The Hell? (4, Insightful)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519404)

As opposed to the bracelets they currently slap on you that contain your name and info when you are admitted?
I bet you don't have the balls to cut an RFID tag out of your flesh like you would cut off a plastic wristband.

Re:What The Hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519516)

I do, but then again I'm not a total pussy.

Re:What The Hell? (4, Informative)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519411)

I know what's on the bracelet 'cos I can read it.
I know who else is reading my bracelet 'cos they're standing right next to me.
I can remove the bracelet when I go home.

Re:What The Hell? (3, Insightful)

blamanj (253811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519491)

And putting an RFID tag in the bracelet is the right thing to do. You get all the advantages of the RFID and the patient can remove it when they go home.

No freakin implants required.

Mod Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519493)

Exactly

Cashless society.. coming right up. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519340)

Rev 13:16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[6] the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Repent, the end is near.

Re:Cashless society.. coming right up. (4, Funny)

Rand Huck (821621) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519400)

So, if any of you folks have a barcode with "666" in it, lock yourself in a room and don't make eye contact with ANYBODY for 1000 years.

Re:Cashless society.. coming right up. (3, Funny)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519559)

So, if any of you folks have a barcode with "666" in it, lock yourself in a room and don't make eye contact with ANYBODY for 1000 years.

Luxky me... My number is 668.

Thank god for permanent markers.

Typical Christian nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519407)

The biblical verse quoted has NOTHING to do with a "cashless" society. Cash or no cash, such a "mark" could be used in any case. It is completely out of context.

Re:Typical Christian nonsense (1)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519439)

The first incentive for such a "mark" to be installed is of course enabling of commerce - a unit of exchange...

It is not such a great leap of imagination into a totally cashless society.

Re:Cashless society.. coming right up. (2, Informative)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519408)

First it was UPC barcodes. Now RFID...

Not that I don't believe something like this will eventually happen, but I think whatever "mark" it is, will come in a much more pervasive and subtle form - definitely embedded into your body though. Perhaps your own DNA is already enough information for this sort of thing...

Re:Cashless society.. coming right up. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519471)

Perhaps your own DNA is already enough information for this sort of thing...


There is no way I'll allow DNA anywhere near my body.

Re: Cashless society.. coming right up. (2, Insightful)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519416)

This doesn't mean we're going to have it become mandatory. All it says is that the FDA approved it, but we probably should watch out. People need to quit conjuring up end of world scenarios, in any case.

Re:Cashless society.. coming right up. (1, Insightful)

sploo22 (748838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519452)

for it is the number of a man

Actually, the NIV (widely considered to be more accurate than the King James translation) uses the phrase "for it is man's number". Big difference.

Re:Cashless society.. coming right up. (4, Informative)

magarity (164372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519459)

He causes all ... to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads

RTFA:
A tiny computer chip approved Wednesday for implantation in a patient's arm

:/

The true context of parent verse (1)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519460)

The true context does involve a "cashless society" of some sort... after all, what else would verse #17 mean if "no one may but or sell except one who has the mark"???

Re:Cashless society.. coming right up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519589)

Y'know what? Although a xtian I am not, I respect the bible as a large repository of wisdom and prescience. Whether I like it or not, I'm seeing more and moe of what has been written come true...we need to be very careful or the things that are written there and in other fonts of wisdom will come to pass....but I suppose as long as I have my Tivo, my computer, my SUV, I can ignore the signs that we are all being taken for a ride (cough BUSH) and enjoy the view.

GREASED UP YODA DOLL NOW SHOVED INTO ORBIT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519343)







Ground Control to Yoda Doll
Ground Control to Yoda Doll
Take your ass grease pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Yoda Doll
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God's love shove up you
Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Shove Up
This is Ground Control to Yoda Doll
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose butts you tear
Now it's time to leave the suppository if you dare
"This is Yoda Doll to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm stinking in a most peculiar way
And the ass look very different today
For here am I sitting in an ass can
Far inside the butt
My face is turning blue
And there's nothing I can do
Though I'm past one hundred thousand bowels
I'm feeling very still
And I think my buttship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I ream her very much, she knows"
Ground Control to Yoda Doll
Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong
Can you hear me, Yoda Doll?
Can you hear me, Yoda Doll?
Can you hear me, Yoda Doll?
Can you....
"Here am I floating in my ass can
Far inside his Moon
My face is turning blue
And there's nothing I can do."







Implant? (5, Interesting)

Databass (254179) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519346)


Can't I just keep it in my wallet or embedded in my shoes or on my car keys or something?

Re:Implant? (1)

genericacct (692294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519389)

I like the wallet or keys idea. Shoes is no good... it's not like I have a driver's license for every pair of pants.

Re:Implant? (1)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519484)

All external cards/chips/blobs etc can be lost... embedding does have its advantages that it will always stay with the person - unless that part of the body is amputated, of course :)

Re:Implant? (4, Insightful)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519570)

I figure RFID bracelents should do just fine. It still allows me to take it off when I leave the hospital.

Oh, you don't want me to lose my tag when I leave hospital? Why not?

Scanning vs. looking it up (0)

Rand Huck (821621) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519354)

I don't see it as any more of a risk than having a database of your medical history on file for your doctors to see. This just serves as a convenient way to find the database entry. Hackers probably already have all your medical history from a hospital with bad security.

Ebeh... (2, Interesting)

TidyKiller (786958) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519355)

I don't care about the advantages, that's some seriously creepy stuff. I'm never eager to jump and say "LOOK! THAT THING/PERSON IS RUNNING AWAY WITH OUR RIGHTS!", but RFIDs still scare me..

personal data is personal (0, Troll)

poptones (653660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519406)

George Bush is president and now a branch of government is talking about marking people?

See? I told you all he was the antichrist.

Re:personal data is personal (3, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519434)

Yes. And good for him. This kind of technology can prevent people from getting wrong treatments in the hospital because they will not be mis-identified. It may also keep babies from being switched after birth. There are many good uses besides those two. We just need to address privacy issues up front. This is no different, to me, than the availability of printed records that people can access now. These RFID tags only identify you, they do not contain medical records.

Help! (5, Funny)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519360)

Could someone help me out? I don't know what IDK means.

-Erwos

Re:Help! (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519366)

I don't know what IDK means...

Re:Help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519381)

IDK what IDK means either.

Re:Help! (1)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519414)

IDK = "I'm Don King"

Re:Help! (2, Informative)

56ker (566853) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519457)

IDK = I don't know. In fact you could have said "IDK what IDK means." ;)

Re:Help! (1)

Epistax (544591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519492)

Yeah and what the fuck is up with this WTF?

I'll be right back, my roommate's finally going to tell me what BRB means.

Re:Help! (2, Funny)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519544)

BTW, IANAL, however, IMHO IIRC IDK is BS. AFAIK.

IAE, HTH. GTG. HAND. BCNU.

It should seem creepy (2, Funny)

CrazyJim0 (324487) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519365)

Biblically speaking, one could draw all types of claims of it being evil. I'm not making these claims, just saying they've been voiced before.

I will claim to have been spoken to by God though:

www.geocities.com/James_Sager_PA/love3.html

Re:It should seem creepy (2, Interesting)

theparanoidcynic (705438) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519420)

Then use that to our advantage. At least here in the US fundies have an extraordinary, and indeed terrifying amount of power at the moment. Get them to believe that this is "the mark of the devil" (or whatever the shit they call it) and I guarantee it'll be dead.

Patents and security? (4, Interesting)

darnok (650458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519368)

...So I go to hospital, and one of these RFID tags is implanted within me.

Next time I visit doctor/hospital, what restrictions are there on info from "my" tag being read? Two possible options I can see:
- everyone can read my info, and now I have to worry about my health info being scanned by everyone with any remote interest in it. Get on a plane - *SCAN*; "Sorry sir, we believe your heart may give out on this flight and we don't want any lawsuits". Go to a job interview - *SCAN*; "Sorry but we won't employ someone with your health problems"
- nobody can read my info except for readers authorised by the single company controlling the implants. Hmm, now I wonder how they could conceivably abuse that information...

Thanks, but no thanks - I'll take my chances with anonymity. The possibilities of abuse of this technology are just too high

Re:Patents and security? (5, Informative)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519417)

The implant only has a key that can unlock your records within the doctor's office database or the hospital. The RFID tag itself does not contain any medical records. The tag also acts as the equivalent of a UPC code. This might reduce or eliminate the kind of errors where you are thought to be patient B who is getting a leg amputated where you are really patient Z getting your tonsils out. So, there are some fantastically good things that this technology achieves. The privacy concerns are valid but this kind of technology is going to come into use sooner or later so we might as well prepare for it in such a way that privacy issues are addressed up front and appropriately.

Re:Patents and security? (1)

darnok (650458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519477)

I don't have a problem if this tag holds e.g. my name; I can see how that could be used to prevent my leg getting accidentally amputated.

I have a concern if it holds my medical history, regardless of any encryption that could be put on the data. Several years ago, many encryption algorithms were thought to be "good enough"; now they've been cracked. At the rate CPU speed is increasing, there's not likely to be any encryption that could be applied to an RFID tag that would be definitively uncrackable before I die; therefore, there's a chance that someone could access my implanted data in an unauthorised fashion while I'm still around to care about it. When I'm 80 years old, I don't want some gadget refusing me health insurance because it can extract info from a device that was implanted half a lifetime ago.

I agree that there are some good things that could be achieved by this technology; however, I want to see a significant chunk of history of use of RFID tags go by before they start getting implanted in me.

Re:Patents and security? (1)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519519)

I have a concern if it holds my medical history

well, if one actually reads the article, it indicates that it doesn't contain your medical history, rather just a personal upc code which is tied to a database...

Re:Patents and security? (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519522)

I agree. I would not agree to have a tag implanted in me if it is going to contain medical records or history because it is just too easy for other folks with readers to get that information. However, I do like the idea that my "UPC" code keeps me from getting mixed up with another patient when I am unconscious and unable to say, "No, I am not here for to have my gonads removed, I am here for an appendectomy." Well, a silly example, but you get my point. I would especially like how these tags might help my kids to be safer in a hospital. And yes, like you, I would not be an early adopter of this technology. I too would like to see it "grow" some history first.

Re:Patents and security? (1)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519431)

everyone can read my info, and now I have to worry about my health info being scanned by everyone with any remote interest in it.

well, seeing as how the chip only has a unique number on it that is tied to a medical database, I doubt that just anyone can find out your medical history. the chance of any company being able to scan you and getting your medical history is exactly the same as said company doing a background check on you and coming up with your medical history. (they're either going to have access to the medical database, or they won't have access) the chip would just speed up the process.

God bless Slashdot traditions... (1)

unicorn (8060) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519536)

First and foremost being, NEVER read the referenced article. Always spout comments that are as apocalyptic as possible before clicking throught the link(s).

Think UPC code. The identifier, emblazoned on a food item, brings up its name and price on the cashier's screen.

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.

Re:Patents and security? (3, Insightful)

AlphaJoe (798014) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519545)

Get on a plane - *SCAN*; "Sorry sir, we believe your heart may give out on this flight and we don't want any lawsuits"

While you may not want it, there is always the possibilty that eventually it will be required, so instead of *SCAN*; "Sorry sir, we believe your heart may give out on this flight and we don't want any lawsuits", instead you will get *SCAN*; "Sorry sir, but this airline requires we have access to your VeriChip in the event of a medical emergency"

Oops. (0)

superrcat (815508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519369)

Gives a new meaning to getting a "virus".

Re:Oops. (2)

El Gordo Motoneta (821753) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519578)

Well, no. It's actually the same meaning that it always had =oP

hmmmm (1, Interesting)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519379)

while an interesting idea in itself, I hope it doesnt get expanded to something more.... complete. I.e. I hope that it doesnt evolve into "well, we already have chips in people, lets expand it to be a national ID".
as is however, this makes sense. keeping your medical history on a chip could definately help in emergencys and such involving people with various conditions. I wonder if things like defrib and such would affect the chip though...

Re:hmmmm (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519517)

keeping your medical history on a chip could definately help in emergencys and such involving people with various conditions.

1- The info isn't on the chip, the chip just has an i.d., they get they info from a database using the i.d.

2- What if your injury removes the tag? Accidental amputation, burns it off, scrapes it off, chews it off...

Had to be said (5, Funny)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519386)


I for one welcome our new rice grain sized overlords

Just think of all the other wonderful uses once the technology becomes more widely accepted...

No more lines at the airport for people with the chip!
metal detectors augmented with RFID scanning / live reporting / updating tools...

"I'm sorry, sir... you are not allowed on the plane. It says here you use something called Linux, and apparently that's only used for pirating copies of window$, making you a terrorist. This transaction has also just been added to your RFID file. Have a nice day"

Well I think it's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519393)

Some people need to carry around medical information wherever they go, this will help them greatly.

And how about for standard ID? I'm sure it will be eventually, but I doubt any time really soon. Eventually I think this will be key to a totally cashless society. Maybe even keyless, or anything that requires a key/identification etc etc.

oh and I'll throw in the end is near for good measure :)

Obligatory Yakov Smirnoff. (2, Funny)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519410)

In Soviet Russia, government implant chip in you!

Er... Wait a minute.

Re:Obligatory Yakov Smirnoff. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519591)

"In Soviet Russia, government implant chip in you!"

In America, chimp gets implanted into government!

(Yes, I know the original was "chip" and not "chimp" but the line was too good to pass up).

Wallets and purses get lost in accidents (1, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519419)

Many people use serious medications that could interact badly with other drug or they have critical medical conditions that affect treatment. In an accident, the EMTs need to know who you are without fumbling around for a wallet or purse (that may have been flung from the car) or jumbled if there are multiple people in the car. Even a med alert bracelet is only as good as it is secure on the wrist. An RFID implant and scanner makes it less likely that you will be separated for your ID.

Re:Wallets and purses get lost in accidents (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519553)

Even a med alert bracelet is only as good as it is secure on the wrist. An RFID implant and scanner makes it less likely that you will be separated for your ID.

If you're in an accident that can separate you from your wrist, it can also separate you from the the bit of skin containing your RFID tag.

I'm glad to know that these people with medicalert problems will be dependent on the battery powered RFID scanners from now on. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

For the love of god, read the article (1)

unicorn (8060) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519563)

It's just an ID tag. That's ALL. It has NO history information saved on it. It just uniquely identifies the "wearer" for purposes of database lookups. Odds are that EMT'z will be the last thing linked remotely into the hospital LAN to look up the pertinent records.

Basically it's an armband that can't get lost, swapped, etc.

Obligatory Quote (1, Insightful)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519582)

sorry - couldn't resist: Those who sacrifice liberty for security obtain neither.

Useful for payments too (2, Interesting)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519422)

How about an RFID that can be used as a credit card?

It would be so much more convenient than having to carry a credit card, worry about dropping it, or not having it (e.g. you are ordering drinks poolside). One wouldn't need cash either.

Implantation in the hand would be more convenient, one could just wave it over a scanner at a supermarket.

More details available here [religion-cults.com] .

What's the point? (2, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519428)

There is no central healthcare database. Having worked for the largest chain of hospitals in the world (was Columbia, now called HCA), I know firsthand that medical data is not shared between an entire chain of hospitals, let alone hospitals outside of their influence.

So what's the point in having an ID number imbedded in the patient via RFID, or having it tattooed on their forehead, etc, if it does not mean anything outside of a specific hospital or market? How is this better than a patient carrying a Social Security card? The only thing that comes to mind is to help track drug seekers that go from ER to ER. However these aren't exactly the type of people that would volunteer to be tagged like a wild animal.

Dan East

Think about it a little differently. (1)

unicorn (8060) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519579)

Basically, it's a replacement for the cheesy lil armbands.

It won't get torn off, or swapped accidentally, or on purpose.

It's just a unique tag for a patient that reduces the odds of it getting scrambled around in any way.

Well, you're going into a hospital (1, Interesting)

mveloso (325617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519432)

I'd think that you'd want as much medical information in the hands of your doctors as possible.

For example, if you're allergic to something like penicillin they could read that from your implant instead of attempting to somehow elicit it out of your unconcious body.

Likewise, if you have AIDS but didn't tell anyone the hospital would probably treat you differently, given that you might have a whole slew of daily meds in your system that might interact with whatever they were planning to do with you.

Of course, the downside is that it might tell them that you've been to the ER fifteen times complaining about the same thing, but all that would be in your paper file anyway.

Could law enforcement abuse it? Probably. But those guys don't have a lot of free time, and what free time they have won't be used scannning random individuals.

Re:Well, you're going into a hospital (1)

darnok (650458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519512)

> Could law enforcement abuse it? Probably. But
> those guys don't have a lot of free time, and what
> free time they have won't be used scannning random
> individuals.

You're assuming that the scanning and abuse will be performed by "those guys". Obviously, data would be captured and analysed by machines rather than people.

Once there's enough people with these devices implanted, there would be a compelling case to have a RFID reader set up at e.g. every train station, scanning individuals and monitoring our movements. While there's some degree of that going on already, RFID tags inside everybody make it possible to extract masses of information about any individual's movements over the course of their life.

Re:Well, you're going into a hospital (1)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519527)

As long as the medical information stay in the hands of your doctors and no-one else, then it's probably a good thing...

What if health insurance companies have equal access to all this information?

Premiums will probably skyrocket for almost everybody - because as more information is available, the more they can cast doubt about your risk.

RTFA!!! (3, Insightful)

unicorn (8060) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519596)

Read the linked article.

It's a unique ID tag. That's ALL.

The chip won't have ANY data other than "who" you are. And to get any additional data you have to link into the hospital records.

And the police don't have a chance of getting in to those records thanks to privacy laws on medical records.

STOP THE FEARMONGERING.

It's a paper bracelet with your name on it. That's all. You just won't lose this one.

Not the FDA's job to ban this or stop abuse (4, Insightful)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519462)

For those that think this is a bad thing, don't blame the FDA. The FDA's only job should be to ensure medical safety, that unsafe products don't harm people, not to prevent the abusive use of a product which is not intriniscally bad. It is the use of the product which can be bad. Isn't that the argument you use in stating P2P software should stay legal?

Saying the FDA should ban this technology because it can be abused is like saying they should ban cough syrup because of DXM abuse or that the MPAA should ban Linux DVD software because it can be used by movie pirates, or that the RIAA should be able to ban P2P software because someone could use it to distribute a billion copies of the latest Britney Spears album.

not all evil (1)

Phrack (9361) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519466)

Well, it's not evil at all. It's technology, which has no inherent moral value. It just is.

But, what I was originally going to point out... I can see this being useful for nursing homes. Tracking patient movement, on-the-spot checking for correct medication, etc. Especially for victims of Alzheimers, who don't know who you are, where they are, and are quite befuddled over just what to do.

This doesn't seem all that good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519469)

If I come to the scene of an accident and the victim has already lost consciousness, if they are wearing a dog tag, I have a clue about allergies or health problems and even the possibility of an identity.

If all this information is put on a grain of sand that is installed somewhere under the skin, I need special equipment to get the information.

My tinfoil hat... (1)

guru_Stew (704380) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519475)

Wont protect me from this one...
Any one know where I can get a tin foil track suit?

Death? (1)

negface (654119) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519480)

Curious to know what happens when you die, and the info is transferred to some kind of database anyways. Or what if it becomes damaged during death (explosion, radiation, etc) and that data is lost (nevermind your soul).

Whatever is Created (3, Interesting)

swat_r2 (586705) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519489)

Whatever is created can also be hacked. That's both scary and liberating at the same time. I'm used to incompetence on a daily basis from every person I deal with, from the grocer, to my friendly neighborhood hospital. We're human, and I make mistakes as much as the nex guy. Technology isn't going to solve these problems, but I can see the mistakes being more severe. We're on our way to being slaves to data.. I wonder how close we are to the 20,000 year cycle, and if our number close to being up. Take that as you will ;)

Never loose your relatives again! (5, Funny)

workman161 (814490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519495)

Have an elderly person around the house? Can't afford to put them in a home? Don't have any relatives who will take him in?

Then get...The invisible leash!

Using the RFID tag in the subject, it locates him or her as he/she makes an escape for freedom, then applies a mild, 30,000 volt shock to gently remind them that you care.

Warning This device may be affected and triggered by many garage door openers, WIFI hot spots, and thunderstorms. Not recomended for those wearing underwire bras, or pacemakers.

I don't exactly remember it, but its close enough. Borrowed from the Bob and Tom radio show

Oh yeah (2, Insightful)

lifebouy (115193) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519503)

That would work right up to the MRI. Then it would be slag.
Well, much as this hackles my tin foil hat side, I'll simply say I will be making a microwave gun to cook that sucker if I can't dig it out with an Xacto blade. Heebie Jeebies. 1984 is now.

Side-effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519509)

IDK about you, but this seems a to me little...creepy.

Possible side-effects include:

Using silly acronyms where there are no need for any, and misplacing single-letter articles by as much as two words.

Republicans will shoot down "mark of the beast" (2, Funny)

MMHere (145618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519524)

According to the theology of some fundamentalist (and often Republican) Christians, this essentially constitutes the "mark of the Beast."

They consider this to be "evil."

Won't they try to combat it?

Spies (1)

Mung Bianca (810746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519534)

I think another use that will come along would be for field agents to have a small amount of poison in them, and have it remotely released if they were captured.

/. article about Mexican government employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519587)

I've just checked, and no one seems to have linked to the earlier Slashdot article about the Mexican government employees yet.

That article is here [slashdot.org] .

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