One Step to a Brave New World

From Reason comes a story straight out of the world of Aldous Huxley:

Grandma’s pillbox with the days of the week neatly marked is set to go high tech. Tiny edible chips will replace the organizer, tracking when patients take their pills (or don’t) and monitoring the effects of the drugs they’re taking. Proteus, a Redwood City, California, company, has created tiny chips out of silicon grains that, once swallowed, activate in the stomach. The chips send a signal to an external patch that monitors vital parameters such as heart rate, temperature, state of wakefulness or body angle.

The data is then sent to an online repository or a cellphone for the physician and the patient to track. Proteus says its chips can keep score of how patients are responding to the medication. That may be just the beginning, as the chips could improve drug delivery and even insert other kinds of health monitors inside the body….

Doctors love to prescribe new drugs. What’s to stop them from monitoring for all of a patient’s potential health hazards and then just prescribing more meds for that?

On another note, if you feel like reading the classic novel Brave New World but don’t have time, try listening to the radio version, which is narrated by the author himself.


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