U.S. Pentagon Implanted Chip to Detect Coronavirus

U.S. Pentagon Implanted Chip to Detect Coronavirus

Summary

What are the functions on the chip? What are the challenges facing implantable devices? Can these technologies help treat other diseases?

The United States Pentagon recently developed an implantable chip that can detect early signs of new coronary pneumonia and remind users to detect it. So, what functions are on the chip? What are the challenges facing implantable devices? Can these technologies help treat other diseases?

Summary: What are the functions on the chip? What are the challenges facing implantable devices? Can these technologies help treat other diseases?

The United States Pentagon recently developed an implantable chip that can detect early signs of new coronary pneumonia and remind users to detect it. So, what functions are on the chip? What are the challenges facing implantable devices? Can these technologies help treat other diseases?

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The Pentagon releases new coronary pneumonia detection chip

Recently, a research team from the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that they have developed an implantable chip that can detect symptoms of new coronary pneumonia within minutes. This chip is implanted under the skin like most typical implantable devices, and can continuously detect whether there are traces of viruses and pathogens in the blood.

According to the researchers, this device can react with specific chemical elements in the virus. When this element is detected, it will notify the user to perform a new coronavirus test (it should be noted that the device does not clearly confirm the Whether the user has contracted new coronary pneumonia, but confirms the evidence of infection). In addition, the researchers made it clear that the device does not provide tracking functions, but did not mention how the device communicates with the outside world (probably RFID).

The main driving force for chip development comes from the spread of the new crown pneumonia virus on the Roosevelt aircraft carrier. Although only one person died of the new crown pneumonia, about 25% of people infected with the virus developed symptoms, which could put key military assets at risk. Therefore, early detection of viruses will better protect military assets and minimize downtime.


What are the challenges facing implantable devices?

Implantable devices do have the potential to change daily life, but they face two challenges: technology and ethics.

Devices implanted in living tissue must first be biologically inert. This means that the external materials used in the device must not cause a reaction (such as an immune response) from living tissues. If a reaction occurs, the resulting pus may cause complications, including infection and blood poisoning.

The second requirement for implanting the device in living tissue is that the device must be sterilized, otherwise the dangerous pathogens on the device may cause infection. For example, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an extremely dangerous infection. It is resistant to most antibiotics, but it is widely found in everyday products. However, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus cannot be ingested and cannot easily enter the human body, so the risk to daily life is small. However, if the implanted device is not sterilized, MRSA may enter the human body.

In addition, implantable devices have also raised concerns about privacy and ethics. Although the use of these devices can theoretically help reduce the incidence of diseases, there are also the possibility of tracking individuals, data theft, and restricting freedom. These devices usually require RFID or other wireless communication methods, and anyone connected to the device can read the device, or at least see its existence.

Therefore, it is not complicated to install RFID readers in different locations (including shops and restaurants), and then track and store the unique id of each implanted device, because the embedded device allows remote identification without permission. Over time, the unique id can be linked to personal information, such as name and address.


How can implantable devices help the future?

Although a lot of research is devoted to the use of implanted devices for tracking and identification, its ability to detect diseases early has also brought potential breakthroughs in the field of medical diagnosis. Of all the medical tests that can be performed, blood tests are usually the most effective, because in most cases the causative agent can be detected by blood tests (whether it is a pathogen, cancer, vitamin deficiency or poisoning).

The device developed by the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is only the first stepping stone. In the future, the same chip can also be used to detect early signs of other diseases. In addition, the use of such a device may help control the next outbreak of an epidemic without requiring lockdowns and restrictions on travel.