VeriChip Patents RFID Glucose Monitoring Device - InformationWeek

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10/31/2006
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VeriChip Patents RFID Glucose Monitoring Device

This chip would be implanted in the patient using a syringe, replacing the need for diabetics to draw their own blood to test blood sugar content.

Digital Angel Corp. says it has received a patent for a syringe-implantable glucose-sensing RFID microchip.

The microchip, also called an embedded biosensor system, measures glucose concentration in diabetics. Digital Angel received U.S. approval for its patent last week. The company is seeking international patent protection.

Digital Angel said its sister company, VeriChip would market and distribute the microchip. CEO and President Kevin McGrath said patent approval is a major step in getting the device to the public.

"A glucose-sensing microchip could profoundly impact the 230 million people worldwide living with diabetes," McGrath said through a prepared statement. "We recognize that extensive work is required to commercialize this product, including the time and investment required for development, clinical trials and FDA approval. Still, we view this as an incredibly important advancement in the world of diabetes management."

The biosensor chip has a passive transponder, a glucose sensor and integrated circuitry. A wireless scanner reads and displays the glucose level. The scanner signal powers the microchip.

"This is a landmark development in the world of diabetes management," Dr. Joseph Feldman, Chairman of the Emergency/Trauma Department of Hackensack University Medical Center, said through a prepared statement.

Feldman, a VeriChip customer said it is "often painful, cumbersome and discouraging, and especially burdensome for the young and the elderly," to monitor their blood sugar.

Most glucose monitoring kits use lancets, or pins, to draw blood. Earlier this year, Medtronic released wireless monitors that are coupled with insulin pumps, which deliver insulin through a small tube inserted under the skin. Those kits also use radio frequency technology.

Digital Angel produces electronic tags for livestock, pets, fish and humans. The company said its glucose-sensing microchip could monitor glucose levels in livestock as well.

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