A Massachusetts biotechnology company called MicroCHIPS is on the fast track to producing the next generation of ways to deliver medicines. How many of us forget to take important daily doses of our blood pressure or cholesterol medications? While missing only one dose of my HCTZ may not cause any undesirable affects, a woman missing one dose of her oral contraceptive may.
That’s where MicroCHIPS comes in. They have developed an implantable microchip which will deliver programmable doses of hormones that are found in oral contraceptives. The device can be operated by remote control and would not need to be removed when the decision to have children is made. It can simply be turned off then back on again when desired. Bill Gates advocates family planning, so it’s no wonder that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is lending support to the project.
The 20 x 20 x 7 mm chip can be implanted with local anesthesia during a 30 minute office visit to your doctor. Placing can be in the upper arm, the abdomen, or in the buttocks and is intended to last 16 years. The impermeable seal made of titanium and platinum releases the hormones once an electronic current triggers the seal.
In addition to the moral and philosophical concerns that come with birth control, this new technology will pose even more possibilities to consider such as a hacker taking over control of the dosing, or lack thereof, or even a parent controlling their daughters family planning issues. Cloud security firms like CipherCloud may well become leaders in biosecurity. Many concerns are being addressed as clinical trials are set for 2016, with the product expected to be ready for consumers by 2018.