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Microchip Implant to Link Your Health Records, Credit History, Social Security

Last Updated Nov 9, 2010 3:54 PM EST

Novartis and Proteus Biomedical are not the only companies hoping monitor patients' pill-popping habits with microchips. 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 to investors makes clear, the chip and its database could form the basis of a new national identity database lined 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.
That database can be accessed by doctors and nurses:
About the size of a grain of rice, the microchip is inserted just under the skin and contains only a unique, 16-digit identifier. The microchip itself does not contain any other data other than this unique electronic ID, nor does it contain any Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking capabilities. And unlike conventional forms of identification, the Health Link cannot be lost, stolen, misplaced, or counterfeited. It is safe, secure, reversible, and always with you.
But VeriChip's ambitions don't end there, as this diagram indicates:


(Click to enlarge.)
Yes, it shows your VeriChip could link via Health Link* 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 states:
PositiveID puts people in control of their personal health records and financial information, bridging the gap between secure medical records and identity security
PositiveID dovetails with Health Link:
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.

* This item has been corrected to make it clear that PositiveID denies its Health Link service includes microchipping employees. While the two products were once offered together, the company no longer markets them that way, PositiveID says.
Image: The VeriMed Health Link chip from VeriChip's web page.