Establishment Labs has started marketing breast implants with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip built in.
While this may concern women about the privacy issues, the company claims the RFID chip will provide information about the "Ergonomix breast implant" to a patient and her doctor years later.
Establishment Labs will not disclose its first customer, an unidentified chain of U.K. plastic-surgery clinics.
The unnamed clinics are going to announce their RFID chipped breast implants themselves.
The Ergonomix implant, handheld readers and a database in which records information about the implant is all part of the "Motiva Implant Matrix Ergonomix" system.
Last week, Establishment Labs stated in a press release that "manufacturers, physicians and patients will have access a secure online database to retrieve implant-specific data such as serial number, manufacturer name, date of manufacture, lot number, volume, size, and other data. The Ergonomix implant has unique technology to create the look and feel of a natural breast."
The RFID chipmaker is VeriTeQ, which approached Establishment Labs CEO Juan Jose Chacon-Quiros about the invasive idea.
According to RFIDJournal.com, Chacon-Quiros says that a female patient often has no way to prove exactly which implant was used, or its make and model.
However, that may not be true, depending on which surgeon inserts the breast implants.
Chacon-Quiros claims the RFID chip will help determine the type of implant and other details that doctors may need in case they need to remove it. A doctor could just use a RFID reader near the woman's body to get all the information about the implant.
He believes that female patients will have greater control over their breast implant by having it chipped with a RFID tag.