A Texas based company known as Chaotic Moon is developing a tattoo that keeps tabs on everything from your medical condition to your financial information. The tattoos, dubbed tech tats, are made of an electro conductive ink, implanted with sensors and microchips.
Tech tats are an ambitious attempt to blend art with technology. The sensors and microchips embedded in the ink enable the tech tat to monitor your blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate.
“The idea is less like laying a circuit board onto your hand, as the video above shows, and more like having a slightly more protrusive tattoo with a bunch of chips on it,” according to Vice.
The medical information can be transmitted to your doctor with a mobile app or computer.
“So the tech tattoos can really tie in everything into one package. It can look at early signs of fever, your vital signs, heart rate, everything it needs to look at to notify you that you’re getting sick or your child is getting sick,” Eric Schneider, the company’s hardware creative technologist, told sources.
Chaotic Moon has been flirting with alternative uses for tech tats, including using them to monitor children to ensure they don’t get lost and to detect toxins in the air.
“We carry wallets around and they are so vulnerable. With the tech tattoo you can carry all your information on your skin and when you want your credit card information or your ID, you can pull that up automatically through the system,” said one of the developers, Eric Schneider.
But the case for tech tats isn’t airtight. There are hiccups in the technology that have to be resolved, especially when it comes to privacy concerns. For instance, sending sensitive medical information to your doctor with a mobile app could easily be breached by a third party.
The problem, as is the case with most technologies, is that the developers of tech tats are apt to promote the benefits of the technology, without noting all the risks.
For instance, tech companies take note of how tracking/monitoring devices are already present in technology, including chips implants that keep track of pets and tracking apps that determine the location of children.
These benefits are all well and sound, but any technology is a double edge sword. Placed in the wrong hands, such technology could easily be abused, especially by the medical industry.
Driving this technology is a step towards predictive health care, where doctors monitor your health with chip implants that keep track of your every move. In fact, Obamacare already provides a way to incorporate this technology into the healthcare system. According to Managed Care:
“Predictive modeling (PM) has grown to be a linchpin of care management. Health plans, integrated delivery systems, and other health care organizations (HCOs) increasingly channel their patients to interventions based in part on what they deduce from predictive models that have traditionally been run against databases of administrative claims. In this arena, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [Obamacare] is likely to exert a profound effect.”
“A growing number of health care experts, including the Care Continuum Alliance, see predictive modeling as an opportunity to prevent [disease] complications, control [hospital] readmissions, generate more precise diagnoses and treatments, predict risk, and control costs for a more diverse array of population segments than previously attempted.”
By allowing this technology to bleed over into the medical industry, we increase the risk of government agencies trying to assume the role of parents. What is perhaps most disturbing is that, if incorporate into the medical industry, tech tat would likely become mandatory.
In other words: don’t become too attached to your tech tat.