Technology comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most exciting uses of technology for individuals at the moment include wearable technology, smart devices, voice recognition, artificial technology, biometric identification, and robotic assists. Another potential area of technology for personal use is implanted devices. There are a lot of interesting and crucial considerations that need to be made with this kind of technology. This is because the users no longer carry the device or sensor around at will. The technology is surgically inserted into their bodies, and this makes them, in essence, part of the technology.
Uses of Implanted Devices
There are various forms of implanted technology devices currently in use or in the development stage. The major use of such devices, which has been around for a long time, is in the medical field. Life-saving technologies such as the pacemaker help to measure or regulate body functions. The pacemaker helps the heart maintain a normal heart rate. Other examples of medical implanted technology are cochlear implants for hearing, electric implants for arthritis, intrauterine devices for contraception, and nerve stimulator devices. These all play an important role in the body where organs and organ systems are unable to function fully.
There is another fast-growing class of implanted technology. This covers all non-medical uses and can be for cosmetic purposes or for identification. Implants into the body are meant to do anything from helping with building access, easing identification, payment scanning, or other related functions.
One of the current and biggest examples of implanted technology is in Sweden. Around 4,000 people have been implanted with a chip, which can be used as an access card for opening doors and gaining entrance to other restricted areas. This early test case with the NFC chips started off in 2015.
Health, Safety, and Ethical Considerations
As with all new devices and technology, the wider impact of using implanted devices on society needs to be understood and evaluated. While many people are excited about the prospects of not having to carry keys, personal identification, and bank cards around, not everyone is as thrilled. For many others, the idea of an implanted chip in one’s arm, leg, or another part of the body is both frightening and worrisome.
Some people just have a lot of questions about how the technology works, and rightly so. The benefits of implanted technology are easy to understand, but it is the implications that need to be carefully considered from a health, safety, ethical, and legal perspective. Some of the most common questions about the implanted chips are about the pain levels of the procedure, how long the chip stays in the body, what happens when the technology malfunctions, the possibility of hacking, and about who has access to the chip and the data.
Ethical issues about the possibility of hacking and tracking need to be considered. There is a lot of buzz about data security and hacking these days. Hackers have successfully hacked into many major international companies. Personal data is being extracted and sold, and people have many questions and fears. Identity theft is also a cause for concern. Companies producing implantable devices need to consider these issues and how users’ information can be protected.
In terms of health and safety, people need to know if there are any risks associated with having the device in their bodies. Are there any signals or waves that could interfere with their body functions or interact with other devices in the vicinity?
The future of implanted devices could be quite bright as companies work through the concerns. Powering these kinds of devices has been a challenge because it’s not as easy as opening the device and changing the battery. Solving this limitation could open new opportunities.