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DARPA’s coronavirus detector chip paves the way for invasive medical monitoring technology

Will invasive chips be the the future?

The age of technological implants being used to monitor biological functions has taken a new step and has opened the prospect of a new range of technological, privacy, and ethical concerns.

DARPA has developed an implantable microchip that can continuously monitor the body for signs of the coronavirus.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is under the DoD (Department of Defense) and funded by the pentagon, was started over 60 years ago during President Dwight Eisenhower’s era after Russia caught the US off guard by launching the first missile into orbit.

DARPA was formed for one single purpose; to prevent such surprises from ever happening. The agency recruits academics, scientists, and inventors and pushes them to deliver innovative technologies.

According to CBS News, “many of the innovations deployed to counter the coronavirus were once obscure Pentagon-funded projects to defend soldiers from contagious diseases and biological weapons.” The outlet’s report on DARPA’s coronavirus-related technologies adds that, “The life-saving vaccine developed in record time owes a debt to these programs.”

On CBS News’ “60 Minutes” episode on April 11, retired Colonel Matt Hepburn, an infectious disease expert and head of DARPA’s coronavirus response team demonstrated the technology the agency is working on.

Holding up a vial containing the microchip suspended in tissue-like gel, he said, “You put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside your body, and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow.”

“It’s like a ‘check engine’ light,” Hepburn continued. “As you truncate that time, as you diagnose and treat, what you do is you stop the infection in its tracks.”

Hepburn also claimed that DARPA has developed a dialysis machine that can remove the virus from the blood. The technology, which has already been used on over 300 patients, has been approved by the FDA.

While DARPA and the military might be developing these technologies in good faith, a significant number of people would not welcome the idea of an invasive implantable microchip become a standard medical norm.

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