Microchip Implant Compared to 'Check-Engine Light' for Blood

The U.S. military is testing a subdermal sensor that detects COVID-19 in the blood.
 
On CBS’ 60 Minutes episode on April 11, 2021, reporter Bill Whitaker interviewed retired Army Col. Matt Hepburn, an infectious disease physician. Dr. Hepburn spent years with the Pentagon’s secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) working on technology to make COVID-19 the last pandemic.
 
When the Department of Defense agency recruited Dr. Hepburn eight years ago, the DARPA director made Hepburn's mission crystal clear: “take pandemics off the table.”
 
Dr. Hepburn says he is willing to work with researchers to take substantial risks to accomplish this gargantuan mission.
 
“We challenge the research community to come up with solutions that may sound like science fiction,” Dr. Hepburn told 60 Minutes. “And we're very willing to take chances with high-risk investments that may not work. But if they do, we can completely transform the landscape.”
 
Dr. Hepburn indicates the chip is not to track everything you do.
“It's not some dreaded government microchip to track your every move, but a tissue-like gel engineered to continuously test your blood,” he said.
 
Dr. Hepburn says it’s “like a ‘check engine’ light.”
 
If a soldier or sailor in the military, for instance, would receive a signal from the tiny green chip if COVID or another anomaly is detected in the bloodstream, the individual would draw their own blood to test themselves on site. The whole process would only take 3-5 minutes.
 
"It's a sensor," Dr. Hepburn said. "That tiny green thing in there, you put it underneath your skin, and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body, and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow."
 
The chip is in late-stage testing. The military anticipates the chip would halt outbreaks such as when COVID sidelined a critical aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, for almost two months last spring with nearly 1,300 sailors testing positive.
 
 
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