Human or Cow, PositiveID Has an Implantable Microchip for You

Last Updated Sep 17, 2010 4:17 PM EDT

Two months ago, PositiveID (PSID) said it was giving up on its implantable radio-frequency medical records microchip, and conspiracy theorists everywhere breathed a sigh of relief: Previously, the only market PositiveID had found for the chip was a group of Alzheimer's patients in Florida who may not have consented to being implanted.

Indeed, on Sept. 8, PositiveID sold its Health Link business -- the product that linked your implanted RFID chip to your online medical records -- to "Health Plexus LLC" for $1 million. CEO Scott Silverman described it as "a non-core asset." (Oddly, Google cannot find a company named Health Plexus LLC on the web. Maybe it's Plexus Health, a medical billing company. Or Health Plexus India, which operates clinics. Or HealthPlexus.net, a web site for geriatric physicians.)

But don't worry too much about that, for I have good news, dystopia lovers! PositiveID -- formerly known as VeriChip -- just announced a partnership with Siemens (SI) that may yet put PSID back in the business of persuading us all to carry microchips under our skin. The purpose of their deal is as creepy-sounding as you'd expect:
... to share intellectual property related to identifying a patient's medical implant by using a radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip inserted into the body.
The intended focus of the potential applications will be designed to improve disease management and general health through the effortless identification of implantable medical devices within the human body.
At the moment, the agreement is merely an intellectual property sharing pact with no stated terms and no specific goal. While microchip implants can do lots of things -- PSID markets one to monitor blood glucose in diabetics -- the Siemens deal nonetheless sounds a lot like the old health Link/VeriChip business that was just acquired by "Health Plexus LLC."

Now put all that together with today's press release: PositiveID acquired is trying to acuire Digital Angel, a company that makes RFID chip implants to help farmers identify their animals. Animals. Humans. Whatever. It's all good at PSID.

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