February 12, 2007 3:06 PM PST

Patients, doctors staying away from implantable RFID chips

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Putting RFID chips into people's arms is, it turns out, not a booming business.

VeriChip, which has created a system for putting RFID chips into humans for medical-record tracking, held an initial public offering on Friday, and the company's stock has been struggling ever since. The stock is currently trading at around $6.15. The company released 3.1 million shares in the IPO for $6.50 a share.

Part of the problem is likely the lackluster sales for the company's most famous product.

Only 222 medical patients in total have opted to get RFID chips from VeriChip implanted as of the end of 2006, according to documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of its initial public offering. It's a modest number, the company says, and revenue for these systems is far below projections.

"To date, we have only generated approximately $0.1 million in revenue ($100,000) from sales of the microchip inserter kits, significantly less than we had projected at the beginning of 2006. We may never achieve market acceptance or more than nominal or modest sales of this system," the company stated.

The slow sales will likely hearten the many critics of the company. When the company first began touting the technology nearly three years ago, it was criticized by civil libertarians, who saw the chips as a gateway to privacy erosion, and by religious consumers some of whom said that implantable chips were the mark of the beast.

In its SEC filing, the company stated that many patients are probably unwilling to get chipped, the company said, and doctors have likely been reluctant to discuss the procedure with clients. Privacy issues and bad publicity have also been factors.

Virtually all the company's revenues come from two Canadian companies it acquired in 2005. These companies, EXI Wireless and Instantel, specialize in infant tracking and "wander" detection systems in rest homes. In these systems, RFID tags alert nurses and medical professionals if an infant or other patient is passing through the exits or into unauthorized areas. In these systems, however, the RFID chip is contained in a wristband.

VeriChip, in fact, may have to begin to stockpile equipment from its suppliers to stay in business. Digital Angel, which invented a similar system for the pet market, granted VeriChip an exclusive license to market the technology to humans. (Digital Angel in turn gets its chips from Raytheon Microelectronics Espana.) The agreement, however, stipulates that VeriChip must buy $875,000 worth of RFID readers and implantable chips from Digital Angel in 2007 and $1.75 million in 2008. If it doesn't, Digital Angel can sign new agreements. VeriChip said it will take actions to prevent the license from lapsing.

The company had earlier scaled back the terms of its IPO. It initially planned to sell 4.3 million shares for between $6.50 and $8.50 per share.

Despite the slow sales, VeriChip says it will continue to market its implantable RFID technology. The FDA approved the used of implantable RFID chips in humans in October 2004. Approximately 1,200 doctors and 66 hospitals have agreed to try out the VeriChip system, assuming patients request it and databases support it.

The company estimates that 45 million patients in the U.S. alone could benefit from implanted RFID chips. The idea is to put medical information into the chip so that paramedics and others could obtain information about medical allergies and other issues in a person if they are unconscious and they lost their medic alert bracelets.

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12 comments

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What a surprise
What kind of moron would go for this?
Posted by vm019302 (85 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What kind of moron?
I would. So should you and yours if you travel in unfamiliar countries. Due to poor health, I cannot join my wife on a planned trip to her mothers place of birth, Gibraltar. Should anything happen, I want the authorities to be able to find her. We all know about female security issues. When she returns home, out it comes, if she desires....Good Dog Dan
Posted by GoodDogDan (1 comment )
Link Flag
666
There are probably 666 reasons why you shouldn't. But one day it will be compulsory.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'm surprised by the low sales.
Why hasn't the criminal justice system picked up on this to track inmates? It's an obvious use that would reduce the costs for these state and federal agencies.
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RFID chips
no thanks, it will be a cold day in hell before I get any implant so I can be tracked. however, if you are a convicted child molester, then these chips should be used to monitor that person for the rest of there natural lives.
Posted by solarflair (35 comments )
Link Flag
New Atom Bomb
I have no doubt that the Atomic Bomb saved millions of lives when used to end World War Two. But it was like opening Pandora's box, and choosing between the lesser of two evils. Since the creation of the Atomic Bomb, the world has lived in fear ever since.

The only reason we have not had an Atomic War is there has not yet been a mad man/woman in power in any major nation such as the United States, the USSR, or even China. An all out Atomic War would be insane, and an end to civilization as we know it.

We opened Pandora's box and ended World War Two. Are we once again going to open another Pandora's box the RFID Chips and place the world in total fear once more? To say that it would be like living in Nazi Germany would be understatement.

The only comparison I can possibly imagine is that Humans would be place in a time equal to that of the Dark Ages.

Quite possibly we as a civilization just did not realize the implications of the Atomic Bomb after it was used. Maybe we just did not have the foresight, or technology. We can no longer used that excuse, nor can we justify releasing the contents of this new Pandora's box upon the world by any measure of the imagination, economic, or other social benefit.

The risk is just too great, and the fear is so unimaginable. And for all the readers who attempt to justify the use of RFID chips as a scientific achievement for the good of human kind are fools. RFID chips are not like Penacillian, or the Polio vaccine. The only possible risk associated with Penacillian, or the Polio vaccine would be the refusal to someone deemed undesirable by those in power.

Would the refusal to use RFID chips cost lives? Would stopping production put people at risk? Is it the universal savior that brings world peace? No, and don't be a fool and look for some justification to place such power in the hands of those who seek nothing more than profit, power and self gratification. Don't do it. Stop it now before it's too late.

And don't listen to such garbage as " I can protect my child by tracing them. " There are other means. First and foremost is learning to become a good parent.
Posted by the1kingarthur (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Use it to protect people, especially children...
They should target prisions and for tracking child molesters and other criminals. Know where they are at by tracking their movements, know when they enter a shopping mall or enter/to near a school or a playground.
Posted by oneDizzyDevil (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
RE: Use it to protect people, especially children
The question is " Will it stop there?" or even a better question " Who will have access, and who will control it?"

There are other means available that are much more efficient and cost effective. Let me pose a another question: Felons are required to give DNA upon their conviction. This DNA will be used to find suspects in years to come once the felon is released.

Now what happens to that DNA if the person is found scientifically without a doubt innocent?

Do they destroy the DNA, or remove it's listing on the National Criminal database? At this writing there has never been one instance where when a person has been proven innocent that their DNA has been destroyed or removed from the National Criminal database.

Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.
Posted by the1kingarthur (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
666
"There are probably 666 reasons why you shouldn't. But one day it will be compulsory. "

Now that would be a Revelation wouldn't it? :)
Posted by Hellbent_free (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
When to use it
Convicts, People in the military, People that work in government agencies, idiots. They should all be chipped and when they are doing something they shouldn't be a nearby radio should say, "and this message is for Bob. Bob, get away from that 12 year old boy! and now back to our program!"
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
VeriChip Fatal Flaw
This basic technology has a serious FATAL flaw that is under-
reported:
The super-magnets used in MRI scanning causes The Chip to rip
through body tissues at the speed of a bullet.
The other serious drawback is that the 'passive' circuitry is
ALWAYS ON, continuously receiving and re-transmitting the RF
energy ubiquitous in the modern environment. The effects of
continuous exposure to such forces are virtually unstudied, and
there is no evidence that humans are somehow immune to them.
Posted by cognation (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Like anything in life, you must look at consequences, who will benefit, who will suffer, the pros and the cons, etc.

You must also consider your own ignorance or at least question your ability to make a decision, and whether you are capable of making an educated decision. Are you knowledgeable enough, can you foresee things, can you see the big picture if life and realize the multiplicity of things that would be affected by even a single act, through history.

In the case of this VeriChip. The only reason the company is desperately looking for its acceptance is for profit. They did the accounting, and figured on millions of people to be stupid enough to get tagged like a sheep or a cow. Since that has not happened and they are strapped for cash, they will try to survive, by trying to get the government, hospitals, the media, and people in general to adopt this evil device. In their attempt at this, they will try, through the media, etc., to appeal to your ignorance, fears, insecurities, and for some people, there lack of intelligence, to get you to accept being tagged like an animal.

You must like I said, be able to see the TRUE reason for this. If you do not believe in the bible, then you will not believe the reason is evil, as in the MARK OF THE BEAST. Consider this, the bible predicted this. If you are full of sin, you will be blinded by this truth.

This is the chain of future events as they will unfold for the adoption of this evil chip:
(1) First people were conditioned with electronic cards, debit cards, shopping cards, etc.
(2) People were condition with piercings and tattoos, so they would be used to and more willing to accept another impregnation into their flesh.
(3) Next will be the REAL ID card.
(4) Next will be the voluntary or involuntary RFID chip in your body.
(5) Next it will be compulsory to get the RFID chip, for you will not be able to even function in modern society without it, PER DESIGN. This will be so that you will be the slave to the elite, otherwise known as the Illuminati. If you just think this is some conspiracy junk, you are gravely mistaken, Even if you are not religious, you will be just as affected, you will be a slave to the elite and wealthy. As there will be the slaved and the wealthy only then.

Most people, especially in the developed countries, and especially in the USA, have been conditioned for over 100 years, to accept more and more abuse, degradation of human rights, to behave more and more immorally, and on and on.

Do the research yourself, and if you are not already morally or spiritually dead, the TRUTH will come out. You can try to kill truth; but all you can do is hide it or suppress it for a time.

I would rather be DEAD than be tagged for slavery!
Posted by josepach (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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