When microchip implants do more than drug delivery: Blending, blurring, and bundling of protected health information and patient monitoring

Katrina A. Bramstedt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although currently in the research stage, scientists argue that drug-releasing microchip implants are on the horizon for future patients. This paper presents ethical reflection on these implants and identifies specific areas of concern; namely, patient monitoring and tracking, and patient privacy and confidentiality. It is foreseeable that drug delivery chips could be multifunctional with the overt or covert addition of sensors that monitor more than just the bloodstream concentrations of prescribed drugs (e.g., cotinine and alcohol in non-compliant patients, patient location via radio frequency or global positioning satellite). Similarly, it is foreseeable that these chips could be embedded with a patient's protected health information that could potentially be accessed and used by unauthorized persons. While drug delivery microchips are theoretically convenient and accurate for dosing, and might offer faster drug delivery with fewer side effects, ethical issues loom and should be contemplated now, while the technology is still under development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalTechnology and Health Care
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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