From July 1st every single Australian will be branded with a unique, 1.16 digit identification number courtesy of Medicare Australia in accordance with Kevin Rudd's new e-health revolution. The stated purpose of this act 2."is to provide a way of ensuring that an entity that provides, or an individual who receives, healthcare is correctly matched to health information that is created when healthcare is provided." Understandably it is a simple transition from localized medical records to an online system, that would allow your medical records to be accessed by medical facilities all across Australia.
For many this would seem to be the perfect solution to holiday accidents and prevent any unnecessary delays when facing treatment from an uncommon doctor who would require any past medical records. If a doctor in a different state previously treated you, they would need to determine if any further treatments/medications could cause adverse reactions to a prescription you or your family might currently be on. Having access to your usual doctors detailed medical reports, anywhere in the country, might just be a life saver. But is there more to it than meets the eye? There is indeed a surreptitious plan to set up the ground work for this system to progress seamlessly to implantable RFID microchips. All that would be required is a simple distribution of the PositiveID microchip and the necessary RFID scanners into the medical infrastructure the software side would already be functioning at full steam.
3."The Australian healthcare sector is a complex of public and private interests, hospital and community facilities, GP's, laboratories, health funds, professional associations, special interest groups and individual consumers". The introduction of this system would aim to revolutionize the way medical records are accessed and updated, ensuring every time it is accessed by a medical professional, the information is up to date and accurate. 4.Privacy advocates have lambasted the proposed bill quoting medical record privacy breaches, in 2007-2008 there were 234 serious accounts of this occurring yet 160 of these resulted in an emailed warning or counseling. If the Unique patient identification number was to go ahead, Australian Privacy Foundation chair Roger Clarke said "The situation will be many hundreds of times worse, as the HI database will ultimately be accessed by more than 600,000 medical providers and organizations".
Knowing of the obvious security flaws that are inherent with a system of this scale, why does the Rudd government choose to bulldoze it into legislation? Could this in fact be the Hegelian dialectic at work? It could very well be a future road map that would lead to the more 'secure' method of accessing medical records via RFID implants as scores of complaints flood the media regarding security breaches and invasions of 'privacy'. Scott R. Silverman, chairman and CEO of PositiveID claims 5."In addition to helping consumers protect themselves from identity theft as it pertains to credit fraud, we are also focused on combating the growing problem of medical identity theft, which affects 7 percent of identity theft victims". How noble of Scott.
Lets move to the hardware side of things, as we already have established that Medicare is providing the 16 digit number. Why 16-digits? Introducing the PositiveID implantable RFID microchip. The microchip itself 6.contains only a 16-digit number that when scanned with a hand held reader, connects to a secure online database. The database houses the patient's identification information and personal health record data. The Council of Australian Governments even state themselves that 7."The identifiers are an important building block for the future introduction of a patient-controlled Individual Electronic Health Record". Scott R. Silverman states, on behalf of PositiveID, 8."we put consumers in charge of their own health information through a robust, patient-controlled interface." Interesting indeed.9.It has been established already that IBM has seed funded PositiveID since inception, would it come as any surprise to you that 10.Medicare relies on IBM for its technology infrastructure and has just paid $189 million for a one-year extension on a services contract? Of course not. This is the most disturbing element, the very people designing and maintaining the system currently in use in Australia, are also the ones behind the PositiveID RFID microchip for humans.
Currently Microsoft and Google both have an e-health record management service. Microsoft's product is 'MS HealthVault', Google's is simply 'Google Health'.11. Both of these services are fully interoperable with PositiveID's RFID microchip.12. Microsoft has already made a submission to the national health and hospitals reform commission (NHHRC) and proposed an electronic health record system for the improvement of Australia's healthcare.13. Google isn't far behind in the race either, with CEO Eric Schmidt stating that he "hopes to deliver Google Health to Australia by the end of the year".
Staying true to the science of
gradualism, we are having an information cage slowly erected around us and we
won't know until it is too late to do anything about it. Maybe the implantable
RFID microchips are coming sooner rather than later, we do know that they will
be introduced for the purpose of cost efficiency and 'reliability' of patient
identification, perhaps a failed e-health system could provide the perfect chaos
to accommodate an implantable RFID solution. What we wont be told is that it
will simply be a 'plug in' upgrade to our existing infrastructure, meaning a
rapid deployment nation wide. To some money minded bureaucratic sell outs, this
is an extremely easy system to sell to an uneducated public.
Australians have already researched the 'benefits' of implantable microchips in a published article titled14 "Lend me your arms: the use and implications of humancentric RFID". The article suggests that social and ethical concerns "plague the technology" yet goes on to imply that "Initial adoption of the invasive technology has met with some success but any real assessment of the industry is prejudiced by the commercial monopoly of the VeriChip Corporation [now known as PositiveID]". "Security and convenience are generic wants" and "Care-related humancentric RFID devices provide unparalleled portability for medical records." To all the disbelievers that think the human microchipping agenda is light years away, think again, this article was published in 2006.
I'm going to be keeping my eye on the Rudd governments new health plan, in particular the 15.$436 million dollars that has been proposed to deal with the rising number of diabetics just how much of this money is going to be used for a feasibility analysis of PositiveID's iGlucose system?16. "The iGlucose system is a standalone, self-contained unit that will automatically query a diabetic's data-capable glucometer for blood glucose data and send that data via encrypted SMS text messaging to an online database." The machine is well oiled and vigilance is needed, we are dealing with a company that has no qualms when it comes to 17.micro chipping Alzheimer patients with18. cancer causing RFID microchips. There is going to be a huge, vulnerable market in the form of diabetic patients and with the19. US government and now the20. Australian government both trying to tackle the expanding financial burden that this disease places on both respective economies. You don't have to look too far for an 'easy' and 'cost effective' solution, especially with PositiveID ready to jump at any opportunity it can to 'help'.
NOTE: Legislation has been presented to Senators within Australia to prevent the mandatory implantation of humans, and it is sitting on their desks currently awaiting further action. Please contact your representatives and encourage them to introduce this into the senate and have it passed into law. For more information on the legislation itself there is a website found at that explains the process you will need to follow including a letter template and fact sheet.
By Ben Parry
15 Lend me your arms: the use and implications of humancentric RFID
Rudd plan a 'stimulus' to diabetes care
PositiveID Corporation Launches iGlucose Second-Stage
The Controversy Magnet: PositiveID "Chips"
Alzheimer's Patients, Quite Possibly Without Permission
Microchip Cancer Report
PositiveID Corporation Launches iGlucose Second-Stage
Rudd injects $430m into diabetic care