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The Verichip

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This piece of technology was manufactured and is being marketed by the VeriChip Corporation. The VeriChip is a microprocessor used for verification and identification. A VeriChip can also be referred to as a radiofrequency identification tag, abbreviated as RFID. The VeriChip is used by doctors and is implanted under the human skin behind the triceps of the right arm, between the elbow and shoulder with the use of a syringe and when done the device can be used to identify the person’s medical history, credit-card number, security clearance and even club membership status. The chip is no bigger than 12 mm long and 21 mm in diameter. The insertion of the VeriChip takes approximately 20 seconds and this procedure costs about $200 (Dishneau, 2005). The medical-grade glass container consists of two main components incorporated together: a small microchip and an antenna.

The microchip is used as the circuitry for the VeriChip and in it, a radio receiver and modulator as well as control logic and storage memory. The second component, the antenna and its made with a piece of coiled wire (Garfinkel, 2005). The VeriChip doesn’t require the use of batteries because it deprives all necessary electrical power to transmit its signal using the antenna which is coiled through physical property which is referred to as inductance. The VeriChip offers both passive and active RFID tags, the implantable, wearable and attachable. The implantable tag, this tag is inserted into the person and can be used for tracking, identification and medical uses. The wearable tag is worn by an individual either on the arm or on the wrist. The VeriChip Corporation has two departments the uses the wearable tags they are the Hugs and Halo Infant Protection Systems, the mother and child both wear the tags the mother the infant tag and the mother tag and this helps prevent infant abductions and baby switching, many of which are happening in recently. These Wearable tags alert the monitoring user about the other person’s whereabouts. Lastly the Attachable tags which can use both the active and passive RFID tags. The Attachable tag also refers to the bar code technology used within the ToolHound equipment and tool software mobile industrial assets, in other words items that are tagged like the tools and equipment and other parts can be found when needed, they can be tracked for maintenance and protected from theft, and loss which then insures maximum utilization.

The VeriChip that is implanted into the body is considered to be a passive RFID tag because it doesn’t use or contain batteries and due to that the VeriChip remains inactive until a proprietary scanner activates it. Passive RFID tags, like the VeriChip, boast a number of unique, significant features. Passive RFID tags have longer lifetimes than active RFID tags (with onboard batteries) and the, the estimated lifetime of a VeriChip is over 20 years. The passive RFID tags can only broadcast low-frequency radio waves because of their minimal power. In the VeriChip’s case, it broadcasts on the low-frequency (LF) band between 125 and 134.2 KHz (Fox, 2004). Given the VeriChip’s low power, the tag is only able to communicate with devices inside a range of a few feet and because of the VeriChip’s limited transmission range, the device is suitable for identification applications. The VeriChip contains and transmits only a unique, 16-digit identification number; in this manner, the VeriChip can be thought of like a bar code. By itself, the VeriChip does not immediately reveal identifying information, but when tied to a database using the scanner, it may provide significant information.

How the verichip works

The Verichip system consists of three components, the VeriChip, a scanner, and a database. The proprietary scanner send out excitatory signals and this signal is a radio wave capable of activating a dormant VeriChip. When scanned the VeriChip returns unique 16 digit identification number and that specific ID number is then sent to a secure database via internet. After interpreting the identification number the requested information is then sent back to the scanner and then the information is used as desired. The figure below shows how the VeriChip system works.

A VeriChip system. A schematic

showing how a VeriChip system works.

Adapted From:

Advantages of the VeriChip

The VeriChip has been of great use to society and the largest area that would benefit from the VeriChip in society is the medical/healthcare sector, then the VeriChip also benefits society as an additional layer of security and protection (Scheeres, 2003).

The health care sector

In medicine the VeriChip’s primary function is to manage patient information. The chip specifically allows doctors and nurses to accurately and quickly ascertain critical information about the patient, but only the data the patient allowed or approved could be in the database, the data is not stored in the VeriChip but in a secure database which is only accessible through the use of the Internet by the authorized person(s) in the hospital. This data includes the name, physician, family or caregiver contact information, current medication, known allergies, and critical medical history of the patient. (

For example someone with impaired speech, chronic loss of consciousness, or memory loss if sick is brought to the hospital would not readily be in a state to give information to the nurses or healthcare professionals would benefit from a VeriChip implant because its comes in as a remedy to the communication barrier that is there due to the circumstances. The VeriChip comes in well for any ailment that doesn’t allow the patient to relay the necessary information to healthcare professionals (VeriChip

Corporation Testimony, 2005). The VeriChip in this case is designed to relay pertinent patient information when the patient isn’t able to, so in this manner the VeriChip fills a large gap in the medical and/or healthcare sector. As of October 3, 2005, fifty-eight hospitals across the United States have agreed to implement a patient identification VeriChip system in their emergency rooms.

An Additional Layer of Security

The VeriChip can also be used as an additional layer of security



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