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MIT scientists have teamed with Bill Gates in developing a revolutionary new microchip birth control implant that would give women the incredible ability to control their contraception wirelessly via remote control.
The implant is made by a startup called MicroCHIPS and could be filled with a whopping 16 years' worth of birth control. When a woman is ready to have a family down the line, she could simply turn the device off with the remote control. She would be able to turn it on again should she need it.
At present, there is no hormonal birth control on the market that lasts longer than five years, according to Monthly Prescribing Reference.
The chip would be implanted under the skin of the abdomen, buttocks or upper arm. It would release 30 micrograms of the hormone levonorgestrel every day.
The mechanism by which the hormone would be released is an electric current that is passed from an internal battery through the seal, which temporarily melts it.
The scientists say that the chip would allow a woman's doctor to adjust dosages remotely as needed, and would be completely encrypted to prevent hacking. The technology could also be used to administer other medications.
According to Bring Me The News, "MIT Technology Review reports the development of MicroCHIPS' device coincides with a new project underway by an international coalition of governments, companies, philanthropic organizations and nonprofits. The coalition, the Review says, is working to provide additional family planning options to 120 million more women around the world over the next six years."
The birth control microchip will start its testing soon, and could be on the market as early as 2018.
This is one of a number of new developments in medical technology that involve electronic implants. It certainly does offer a possible solution to the problem of people forgetting to take essential medications. In terms of its use for contraception it could be a means of getting around a lot of the political and legal problems that we are dealing with right now. The objection to any kind of forced sterilization has always been that it deprives a woman of the opportunity to make future choices. This sounds like a workable compromise between reliability and choice. With any new form of medical technology there is always a need to look carefully at ways that it could be abused.