[By Jim Edwards, BNET | Monday, 5 October, 2009.]
Novartis and Proteus Biomedical are not the only companies hoping to implant microchips into patients so that their pill-popping habits can be monitored. VeriChip of Delray Beach, Fl., has an even bolder idea: an implanted chip that links to an online database containing all your medical records, credit history and your social security ID.
As this presentation (p.d.f.) to investors makes clear, the chip and its database could form the basis of a new national identity database linked to Social Security and NationalCreditReport.com. The VeriMed Health Link homepage describes the chip:
"… a tiny, passive microchip (the nation’s first and only microchip cleared for patient identification by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration) and a secure, private online database that links you to your personal health record. Your Health Link is always with you and cannot be lost or stolen."
But VeriChip’s ambitions don’t end there, as this diagram indicates:
Yes, it shows your Health Link chip linked to Google, Microsoft, employers and insurers. The company also sees the VeriMed Health Link linked to your “identity security services,” through a separate VeriChip product, PositiveID. This slide show (p.d.f.) states:
"PositiveID puts people in control of their personal health records and financial information, bridging the gap between secure medical records and identity security...
Cross marketing opportunities: cross-sell the NationalCreditReport.com customer base the Health Link personal health record and vice-versa. Differentiates PositiveID as the only personal health record that offers identity theft protection."
It’s a future in which your doctor tags you like a dog with a microchip that allows anyone with the right privileges to look at your medical records, credit history, social security number (see slide 6), and anything else that stems from that.
Suddenly, storing medical records on paper in locked cabinets inside a single doctor’s office starts to look like something we may not want to rush to give up. (Full story here.)