Microchips the ‘future of medicine’

The recent PIP breast implant scare in Europe, which has affected tens of thousands of women, has pushed medical device companies to make their products easier to trace.

One option health officials are considering  is using a unique device identifier, or UDI. Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, recently sat down with Scott Silverman, CEO of Veriteq, to find out more about the VeriChip microchipping system, which the company developed as a possible solution.

Veriteq is responsible for the current usage of microchips in pets, which can help identify them if they become lost and get them home sooner to their owners, Silverman said.

The VeriChip microchip was cleared by the FDA for patient identification in 2004. In 2009, the company entered into an agreement to implant its 8-milimeter microchip in Medcomp’s vascular access catheters.

“These microchips are the only microchips that are approved to live safely in the human body,” Silverman said.

Silverman said that Veriteq has a contract with a vascular port company, and it’s in talks with U.S. breast implant manufacturers.

“Back seven, eight years at this point, this product was only a unique identification device,” he said. “Today it has become a diagnostic device.”

After VeriChip is implanted, it can be scanned to reveal the identification number and checked in a database. So if there are any device recalls, patients will know right away if they are at risk.

“Our microchips have the potential to be put in any medical device that is implanted in the body; it is completely safe,” Silverman said.

Veriteq is currently working on microchip sensors to detect vital signs like body temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels.

Alvarez said scanning sensors in the body is the future of medicine – and it’s a faster and more sanitary than the methods used in hospitals today.

For more information on Veriteq’s microchips, visit www.VeriteqCorp.com