Health: Is That a Verichip Under Your Skin?

It was long foreseen, but when it finally happened, it still seemed spooky. The FDA last week approved an implantable microchip for medical uses. When activated by a handheld scanner, the tiny VeriChip emits, via radio signal, an ID number that can be linked to a patient's medical records. Critics see Big Brother. Enthusiasts say ambulance crews and ER doctors will be able to access such critical data as medications and drug allergies, even if a patient is unconscious. Future versions may have sensors to read vital signs like pulse, temperature and blood sugar.

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