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Remotely Controlled Implanted Microchips That Dispense Medications

In-body microchips that deliver medicine in doses either pre-determined or controlled by doctors from outside the body could be the next big thing in drug delivery, and Teva Pharmaceuticals has jumped onto the bandwagon.

The company announced last week a new partnership with US firm Microchips Biotech to deliver Teva-made drugs to patients using the American company’s implanted microchip. It’s the first deal for Microchips Biotech – and the first ever that seeks to commercialize what some consider to be a controversial technology.

To read the entire article from the Times of Isreal click here:

I can see practical uses of this technology- especially in our geriatric population and those that do not have the cognitive functions to remember to take medications or follow complicated medication regimes.  That being said – I also take issue with an implantable technology that can be remotely controlled. This brings up so many issues such as:

Could this device be hacked? I am sure this product will be marketed as secure, but I have yet to see such vulnerable devices that hackers have not breached, including other medical devices. “In April, Wired magazine reported on a two-year effort led by Scott Erven that successfully hacked hospitals' drug-infusion pumps, allowing them to alter the amount of morphine administered to patients; accessed defibrilators, creating unnecessary shocks or preventing life-saving shocks to restart a patient's heart; refrigeration units that house blood, changing the temperature and potentially allowing the blood supply to spoil; viewed X-rays; and had the ability to change patients' online medical records.”

What further makes me skeptical is the involvement of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation that have invested billions of dollars into funding this type of device.  “The technology was originally intended, and tested, to release osteoporosis medication in elderly women, but Dr. Robert Langer of MIT changed his focus to contraception after a personal discussion with Bill Gates. Gavin Corley, a biomedical engineer, told the BBC the technology could be used to achieve contraceptive targets in the developing world, indicating “a humanitarian application as opposed to satisfying a first-world need.”


So what are your thoughts? Implanted medical devices to deliver medications, which can be remotely controlled……is this a good idea?

Image from Wikipedia commons: File:Dr Mark Gasson has an RFID microchip implanted in his left hand by a surgeon (March 16 2009).jpg

Pedagogy blog written by Capra Dalton, RN.

Capra Dalton, Registered Nurse, has more than 28 years of experience in infusion therapy and the instruction of licensed nurses in infusion therapy continuing education. Her experience comes from multiple infusion settings: acute care, ambulatory infusion centers, home infusion, long term care continuing education provider, and long term care pharmacy quality assurance consultant.

As the CEO, Capra is responsible for all operational aspects of Pedagogy, including education course content, author recruitment, and management. 
Posted: 10/14/2015 1:38:37 PM
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