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Text 1, 124 rader
Skriven 2004-07-30 00:33:15 av Steve Asher (3:800/432.0)
Ärende: Under-Skin RFID In Hospitals...
=======================================
Under-the-skin ID chips move toward U.S. hospitals

By Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

VeriChip, the company that makes radio frequency identification --
RFID -- tags for humans, has moved one step closer to getting its 
technology into hospitals.

The Federal Drug Administration issued a ruling Tuesday that
essentially begins a final review process that will determine whether
hospitals can use RFID systems from the Palm Beach, Fla.-based company
to identify patients and/or permit relevant hospital staff to access
medical records, said Angela Fulcher, vice president of marketing and
sales at VeriChip.

VeriChip sells 11-millimeter RFID tags that get implanted in the fatty
tissue below the right tricep. When near one of Verichip's scanners,
the chip wakes up and radios an ID number to the scanner. If the
number matches an ID number in a database, a person with the chip
under his or her skin can enter a secured room or complete a financial
transaction.

"It is used instead of other biometric applications," such as
fingerprints, Fulcher said.

The approval process does not center on health risks or implications,
Fulcher said. VeriChip can already sell implantable RFID chips in the
United States for standard security applications and the financial
market. The company's basic technology has also been used in animals
for years.

Instead, the FDA may mostly examine privacy issues, Fulcher indicated.
In other words, the agency will look at whether the technology will
lead to situations where confidential information can get improperly
disclosed.

Technically, the FDA on Tuesday issued a letter stating that there
were no equivalent products on the market. This allowed VeriChip to
then seek a de novo, or additional, review. The application process
started in October 2003.

The Italian Ministry of Health kicked off a six-month trial of the
chips for hospitals in April.

VeriChip, a division of Applied Digital Solutions, generated headlines
worldwide recently with the announcement that the Attorney General of
Mexico implanted one of the small company's RFID tags in his arm.

Fulcher said the basic technology has been around for a while. For 
15 years, Digital Angel, a sister company under the Applied corporate
umbrella, has sold thousands of tags for identifying animals. The U.S.
Department of Energy employs Digital Angel's technology to monitor
salmon migration. Several implants have been placed in household 
pets and livestock.

"We believe the tags can last 20 years," Fulcher said.

The idea for employing the tags to identify humans came after the
horror of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon, Fulcher said. Richard Seelig, vice president of medical
applications at Applied, saw on TV how firemen were writing their
badge numbers on their arm with pen so they could be identified in 
the event of a disaster.

He inserted Digital Angel tags in his body and told the CEO that they
worked. VeriChip was born. In June, the company hired Next Level and
Motorola alum Kevin Wiley as CEO.

About 7,000 VeriChip tags have been sold, and approximately 1,000 
have been inserted in humans. The chips only work with VeriChip's 
scanners. Along with scanners, VeriChip also sells complementary 
security systems for opening or shutting doors after the identification
process.

So far, most of the sales have been outside the United States. Along
with its attorney general's implant, Mexico has evaluated the chips 
as a way to better identify children in the event of a kidnapping. 
The Baja Beach Club in Spain has used them as electronic wallets to 
buy drinks. Sales have also taken place in Russia, Switzerland, 
Venezuela and Colombia.

"The applications that have taken hold at this point have been
international so far," Fulcher said.

But FN Manufacturing, a South Carolina gun maker, is evaluating the
technology for "smart guns," which contain sensor-activated grips so
that only their owners can fire them.

The chips themselves are inserted into humans and animals with a
syringe. When emerging from the syringe, the chips get coated with a
substance called BioBond, which insulates the chip from the body and
allows it to adhere to local tissue. If removed, it becomes inactive.

Privacy has been an issue for the company, but the complaints have
actually begun to die down. "The pushback is less and less," Fulcher
said.

The chip is an ID tag, Fulcher emphasized. When a person with an
embedded chip passes near a scanner, the dormant chip simply wakes
 up and issues an ID number. The administrator of the security systems 
and databases determines how the information is used. A person has to
stand within a few feet of a scanner for the tag to wake up. Thus, 
the tags can be used to follow someone's steps only when they are near
scanners. The company's hand scanners can ping chips about 12 inches
away, although the devices for counting salmon are 10 to 12 feet away
from the fish.

Also, VeriChip is working on an implant that will contain a Global
Positioning System. Such a device would allow an individual with a
scanner to pinpoint someone's position on the globe.

The lab device, however, is relatively large right now, about the 
size of a pacemaker.

                               -=<*>=-

Source: Raiders News Update - http://www.raidersnewsupdate.com/lead-story4.htm


Cheers, Steve...

--- 
 * Origin: Xaragmata / Adelaide SA telnet://xaragmata.thebbs.org (3:800/432)