Future of Contraceptive Microchips: success or failure?

Future of Contraceptive Microchips: success or failure?

This microchip can prove to be an effective method of birth control which a woman can switch on or off, according to her wishes and it can also function for a greater number of years. The microchip releases chemicals in a specific and controlled manner. The company to which this idea is leased i.e. MicroCHIPS has developed a device with dimensions of 20x20x7 mm which can be implanted under human skin, in the buttock or abdominal area.

Levonorgestrel, the commonly used hormone in contraceptives will be contained in the chip. As much as 30 mcg of this hormone will be released by the chip everyday and it will have sufficient quantity present to function for at least 16 years as opposed to normal hormonal birth control implants which last only 5 years. It’s simple to use, when the women is sure that she wants to conceive she can turn the device off with a remote. The hormone will be put in a definite quantity on the chip using a platinum seal developed by the company itself. The mechanism of hormone release includes passing of a current to this seal, temporarily melting it and allowing a small dose of hormone to escape in the body after regular intervals.

But certain critics have raised the potential issue of the microchip being hacked by a foreign party. But the makers of the device say that this is a false claim since all the communication between the implanted chip and remote can occur only at a distance level of skin contact, ruling out the possibility of it being operated by someone at a far away distance. Also secure encryption is a way to further deal with such mishaps and prevent someone to intervene in between the ongoing communications.

There has been a worldwide clamour towards committing resources to family planning and several international governments and non profit organisations have also come forward and joined hands in this regard. The agenda is set to provide family planning to approximately 120 million more women in the world by the year 2020. In the wake of this, innovation and development of newer and effective birth control option will help this mission a great deal.

MicroCHIPS is all set to take this device further for clinical testing and finally launch it in the market by the end of 2018.

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