A Swedish start-up tech company has invented a scannable microchip that is implanted in people’s arms and can display your COVID-19 vaccination status. This digital implant is designed to be embedded into people’s arms so your vaccine passport pops up when scanned.
Created by the tech start-up Dsruptive Subdermals, the controversial invention is made of a pre-programmed scannable implant two millimetres by 16 millimetres in size.
The invention received a lot of attention when first announced with some describing it as “invasive”.
One Twitter user argued: “Look, I’m as pro-vaccine as anyone around…AND I’m pro-vaccine passport (on a voluntary basis only), but this just plays into the narrative of ‘they want to track you’ conspiracy theorists.”
But speaking to Express.co.uk, Hannes Sjoblad, managing director of Dsruptive Subdermals, fired back at the critics.
He said: “This technology exists and is used whether we like it or not.
“I am happy that it is brought into the public conversation.
“New technologies must be broadly debated and understood.
“Smart implants are a powerful health technology.
“That is what we are building at DSruptive and our goal is to transform healthcare on a global scale.”
While new in humans, this kind of technology is very common for household pets, where most of them are embedded with a microchip that reveals the animal’s medical history when scanned.
Costing 100 euros for a microchip, the device works by scanning the spot on the arm with a mobile phone.
When scanned, a PDF will appear that shows all the details of the person’s EU Digital Covid Certificate, which indicates their vaccination status and may also show whether the person has recently been tested positive for Covid.
Mr Sjoblad added: “This means it is always accessible for me or for anyone else, really, who wants to read me.
“For example, if I go to the movies or go to a shopping centre, then people will be able to check my status even if I don’t have my phone.”
For the many people that would be sceptical of the device, Sjoblad assured that the implants are not tracking devices, and are only in use when they are scanned.
Mr Sjoblad explained: “If you understand how these implants work, they don’t have a battery. They cannot transmit a signal by themselves. So they are basically passive. They sit there asleep.
“They can never tell your location, they’re only activated when you touch them with your smartphone, so this means they cannot be used for tracking anyone’s location.”