THE MOVE TOWARD IMPLANTABLE DEVICES IN THE HUMAN BODY HAS MADE VERY STEADY PROGRESS.
SOME DEVICES ARE FOR MEDICAL REASONS, SOME ARE FOR TRACKING OUR WHEREABOUTS BY SATELLITE, SOME ARE FOR "FUN".
MAN IS MERGING WITH MACHINES ON A WHOLE NEW LEVEL.
WAY BACK IN 2004, THE FDA APPROVED THE FIRST MICROCHIP FOR HUMANS...THE "VERICHIP".
FOR A MERE $150 TO $200, AND IN UNDER 20 MINUTES USING JUST A SYRINGE, THE DEVICE IS EMBEDDED AND BOTH TRACKING AND MONITORING CAN BE ACHIEVED, DEPENDING ON MODELS AVAILABLE TODAY.
THEY WERE AND ARE TOUTED AS "GREAT LITTLE SECURITY DEVICES" THAT COME IN HANDY IN HIGH-SECURITY BUSINESSES, OR FOR THE MILITARY, ETC.
THE VERICHIP HAS ALSO BEEN USED BY CLUB-GOERS AND OTHERS TO ACCESS VIP LOUNGES, MAKE QUICK PAYMENTS MUCH AS ONE DOES WITH THOSE "SMARTCARDS", AND EVEN KEEP TRACK OF ONE ANOTHER.
BUT BEING TRACKED IS NOT TOPS ON MOST PEOPLE'S LIST.
SURE, IT MAY SOUND GOOD TO PARENTS WITH CONCERNS ABOUT THE WHEREABOUTS OF A CHILD, TO QUICKLY LOCATE A CHILD WHO GETS LOST...BUT IF PARENTS CAN LOCATE A CHILD, SO CAN ANYONE USING SIMILAR TECHNOLOGY.
A YOUNG COMPANY NAMED "THYNC" IS MARKETING A "PATCH" THAT IS A NEURO-SIGNALING DEVICE. A QUICK LOW-VOLTAGE JOLT IS USED TO ALTER MOOD AND/OR ENERGY,
THERE ARE BRAIN IMPLANTS THAT DO THE SAME THING.
ANOTHER YOUNG COMPANY IN CALIFORNIA HAS DEVELOPED A BIONIC EYE THAT ALLOWS SOME BLIND PEOPLE TO "SEE". SEVERAL COMPANIES ARE AT WORK TO TAKE THE "BIONIC RETINA" TO A BETTER LEVEL WHERE ACTUAL SIGHT IS POSSIBLE.
FEDERALLY FUNDED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT HAS PAID OFF WITH SEVERAL MIND-ALTERING BRAIN IMPLANTS WHICH DELIVER DRUGS, LIGHT, OR ELECTRICAL IMPULSE TO BASICALLY CONTROL OR ALTER AN INDIVIDUAL'S MIND/THOUGHT/ACTION, BUT ALSO ALLEVIATE SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESSES SUCH AS ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, SCHIZOPHRENIA, DEPRESSION, AND AUTISM.
THINK FOR SEVERAL MINUTES ABOUT THE IMPLICATION OF THAT!
DARPA HAS BEEN HARD AT WORK FOR A LONG TIME TO CREATE THAT DREAM, THE BIONIC SOLDIER, USING MULTIPLE IMPLANTS THAT STIMULATE NOT JUST BRAINS BUT MUSCLES, AND CAN EVEN BLOCK PAIN "MESSAGES" FROM THE BODY TO THE BRAIN.
DARPA IS EVEN DEVELOPING A SENSING BIONIC HAND,WHICH USES ARTIFICIAL SKIN AND IS "INTERFACED" WITH THE WEARER'S MIND, A TELESCOPIC LENS TO ENHANCE VISION TO LONG DISTANCES WITH AN ACTUAL WINK OF AN EYE, AND A HUMAN/DEVICE INTERFACE WHICH WILL ALLOW SOME PARAPLEGIC OR QUADRIPLEGIC PATIENTS TO WALK AGAIN.
GETTING THE HUMAN MIND CONNECTED TO MECHANICAL DEVICES IS THE GOAL OF MANY TODAY.
WHILE IT IS AN EXCITING FIELD OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, IT IS ALSO A BIT OMINOUS.
IMPLANTS FOR CONVENIENCE
"GRINDERS"...PEOPLE WHO IMPLANT DEVICES INTO THEIR BODIES FOR "TECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENTS".
"Take Amal Graafstra, a self-described “adventure technologist” and founder of biohacking company Dangerous Things in Seattle, Washington.
He is a double implantee – he has a microchip in each hand.
In his right hand is a rewritable chip, the same kind used in Oyster travel cards, which can be used to store small amounts of data. By pressing his hand to his phone, information can be downloaded from his body or uploaded into it. The left contains a simple identity number that can be scanned to unlock his front door, log into his computer or even start a motorbike.
It marks the beginnings of a slow move toward a world where everything will be accessed from a single RFID microchip."
THE NUMBER OF AND TYPES OF MEDICAL IMPLANTS INCREASE EACH YEAR.
FOR A LIST OF THE TOP 11 MEDICAL IMDs, <CLICK HERE>.
Each year, 300,000 Americans receive wireless medical medical devices including implantable medical devices (IMDs) such as cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators, cochlear implants, neurostimulators, as well as drug delivery systems like the insulin pumps.
THERE ARE IMPLANTS TO REDUCE SEX DRIVE IN SEX OFFENDERS.
IMPLANTS HELP STOP SEIZURES, PREVENT CONCEPTION, SEND A PULSE TO REMIND PATIENTS TO TAKE MEDICINE OR ALERT A PHYSICIAN OR FAMILY MEMBER IF MEDICATION IS MISSED.
IMPLANTS CAN BE USED FOR EVERYTHING FROM OPENING A LOCKED DOOR OR TURNING ON A HOME TV TO STIMULATING ATROPHIED MUSCLES AND FORCING A HEART TO BEAT.
In the United States alone, more than 2.5 MILLION people CURRENTLY rely on IMDs and like devices to treat conditions ranging from cardiac arrhythmias to diabetes to Parkinson’s disease. Some systems, like blood glucose monitors, are send-only.
But others, such as implantable cardiac defibrillators, are bidirectional and allow commands to be sent from a local controller TO the IMD, causing the device to take a particular action, such as shocking the heart.
HOWEVER, it appears that little, if any, consideration has been given to the criminal opportunities created by these new technologies, even after the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert advising medical facilities that more than 300 devices from 40 different vendors had vulnerabilities that could readily be exploited by those with ill intentions.
THEY CAN BE HACKED.
SOME CAN BE HACKED QUITE EASILY AS 'SLATE' POINTED OUT!
"Though no known criminal attacks against IMDs have been uncovered so far, we can and should fully expect that organized crime will turn its attention to the computers inside of us, whether for financial gain, for attention, or simply to cause fear.
Some of these incidents may just be potentially run-of-the-mill cyber attacks: Just as a scripted botnet attack can commandeer your computer, your mobile phone, and even your refrigerator, so too might it ensnare your pacemaker.
Hacked medical devices might just look like any other available IP address on the Internet of Things, and once your implanted defibrillator or diabetic pump has been infected, the spam it has been ensnared into sending might well drain the very limited and precious battery life desperately needed to regulate your heartbeat and insulin dosages, requiring surgical intervention for replacement.
[IN THE CASE OF BOTH THESE MENTIONED, THERE WOULD LIKELY NOT BE TIME FOR SURGICAL REPLACEMENT. THINK ABOUT IT. DEAD BATTERY ON A PACEMAKER? DEAD BATTERY ON AN INSULIN PUMP WHEN GLUCOSE LEVEL IS OVER 600?]
"Using a variety of attack methodologies, researchers have already been able to change IMD device settings, disable therapies, and even deliver an unnecessary command shock to an implanted pacemaker-defibrillator.
Though these devices have been successfully compromised by both researchers and hackers alike, thus far there have been no documented cases of an actual criminal attack against an IMD “in the wild”—of course, it will just be a matter of time.
One hacker, known as Barnaby Jack, demonstrated a device at a hacker conference in 2011 that he devised to locate and compromise one brand of insulin pumps within a 300-foot radius.
The device allowed Jack to remotely and instantaneously release an amount of insulin almost certain to result in death without immediate treatment."
ANOTHER CONSIDERATION NOT MENTIONED IN THAT ARTICLE...SINCE PHYSICIANS INSIST A PATIENT USING ONE OF THOSE DEVICES WEAR SOME SORT OF ALERT EMBLEM, PREFERABLY A BRACELET, PATIENTS ARE MARKED FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR A TARGET.
SEE A MEDICAL ALERT BRACELET, THERE'S A TARGET!
BUT NOT TO WEAR ONE MEANS IF YOU SUDDENLY LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS SOMEWHERE, NO ONE WILL BE AWARE THE PROBLEM MIGHT BE THE DEVICE HAS MALFUNCTIONED. IMDs COULD BECOME AN EXTORTIONIST'S DREAM.PAY UP OR OFF GOES THE DEVICE?
PAY UP OR YOU GET A LETHAL JOLT OR DOSE?
WHAT A NIGHTMARE!
SLATE: "For the first time in the history of humanity, the human body has become subject to cyber attacks. The more we implant tiny computers inside ourselves to monitor and improve our health, the more we create opportunities for others to hack into our bodies and subvert these machines for any number of criminal offenses, with homicide being the most obvious concern.
" A sufficiently powerful electromagnetic pulse could cause harm to large number of individuals with IMDs, and instructions for building an EMP generator are widely available on the Internet.
In addition, a criminal or terrorist organization could launch a widespread critical infrastructure attack against hospital control systems and IMDs.
According to researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in 2003 and 2009 respectively, the “Slammer” and “Conficker” worms had each successfully infected networked hospital systems responsible for monitoring heart patients.
HERE IS A VERY STRANGE, BUT NECESSARY QUESTION WHICH THE SLATE ARTICLE POSES:
NOW THAT WE KNOW THIS, HOW CAN ANYONE DOING AN AUTOPSY DETERMINE IF THE DEVICE "NATURALLY" FAILED OR IF IT WAS A SUICIDE, OR IF THE IMD WAS MANIPULATED FROM A DISTANCE BY SOMEONE INTENT ON MURDER?
"When the deceased begin to arrive, how will a coroner go about determining the cause of death?
Did the person with the pacemaker die of natural causes?
Was this an accidental death due to a device malfunction?
Was the device specifically targeted for criminal purposes?
Was this a suicide wherein the patient himself subverted his own IMD to end pain and suffering, hoping that his family would receive life insurance funds for his apparent natural death?
As modern medicine evolves and the proliferation of IMDs increases, the question must be asked:
When the body shows up at the morgue, who will be capable of performing the autopsy?
Correction, March 17, 2015: This article originally misstated that insulin pumps are implanted medical devices. Insulin pumps are not PERMANENTLY implanted."
SLATE ALSO DIDN'T MENTION THAT SOME "CONVENTIONAL" SURGERY PATIENTS, PATIENTS WHO HAD COMMON SURGERIES, LATER DISCOVERED
THEY HAD RECEIVED RFIDs, WITHOUT CONSENT!
WHETHER THESE IMDs WERE IMPLANTED "BY MISTAKE" OR PURPOSELY, IT'S SOMETHING FEW ARE AWARE OF.
IT WAS FAIRLY COMMON PRACTICE FOR A TIME TO IMPLANT TRACKING DEVICES IN U.S. MILITARY GOING OVERSEAS, EITHER AS DENTAL IMPLANTS OR BY INJECTION.
IT'S ALL A LOT TO THINK ABOUT, BUT IT IS "THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE".
DON'T LIKE THE IDEA OF SURGERY OR NEEDLES?
Some companies, such as Proteus Digital Health, are
developing electronic sensors that can be EASILY
WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR LUNCH TODAY?