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Carrying the health pass under the skin: Sweden already uses microchips with vaccination data

For several years, the use of subcutaneous chips has been adopted by thousands of people in Sweden. Some use them to validate their metro ticket or to access their office. But the coronavirus pandemic brought new needs and tech lovers have already found another way to take advantage of this tiny and revolutionary device.

No bigger than a grain of rice, these microchips they integrate the technology of smartphones or bank cards that allow contactless payment in stores.

Recently, Swedish technophiles were also able to add their health pass data to their subcutaneous chip.

Hannes Sjoblad, CEO of DSruptive Subdermals, the startup that developed the process, explains: “I have a microchip implanted in my arm where I have programmed my health card so I can carry it with me at all times.”

The process, he points out, is simple: “If I want to read the data contained in the chip, I just have to slide a smartphone with a health card verification system into my arm, the device software opens and displays the PDF containing the data, which in this way will always be accessible to me and to any other person authorized to consult them “

And he gives examples: “If I go to the cinema or a shopping center, the controllers will be able to check my status even if I don’t have the phone.”

A sign asking to keep your distance, on a street in central Helsingborg, in southern Sweden, in a file image. Photo: AP

Voluntary testing

Given the doubts and reluctance of many people to use these devices, fearing that they can control their movements, the company ensures that users’ personal data is protected.

Because, despite conspiracy theories, the contactless technology used by these microchips is only activated when a data reading device is placed a few centimeters from the implant.

Furthermore, this device is unable to connect to the Internet by itself and remotely, clarifies the person in charge of DSruptive Subdermals.

“If you understand how this subcutaneous implant works, you realize that it is not powered by any battery and cannot emit a signal by itself. In practical terms, these chips are passive and remain asleep, they never transmit their location and only activate when touched with a smartphone, “he explains.

“And what is important to note is that people who receive these implants do so voluntarily. This device is aimed at naturally curious people who want to experiment with new technologies,” he says.

A man is vaccinated against the coronavirus in Sollentuna, north of Stockholm, last March.  Photo: REUTERS

A man is vaccinated against the coronavirus in Sollentuna, north of Stockholm, last March. Photo: REUTERS

The cost of the device

But nevertheless, at a price of 100 euros per chip, the device will have a hard time competing with free QRCodes to offer the same service. Also, this does not take into account the cost of subcutaneous surgery, which can only be performed by a doctor or a certified tattoo artist.

But the company is already imagining other applications for your implant in the healthcare sector.

The chip, which is also equipped with a micro-thermometer, makes it possible to determine the user’s body temperature in real time. This data could be transmitted to the user’s smartphone and transferred, for example, to their doctor.

Source: Radio France Internationale

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