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Maryland Dialysis Center Prepares for Tag-Implantation Project

The Independent Dialysis Foundation hopes the trial, carried out in conjunction with VeriChip, will help spare its patients from unnecessary procedures and medications.
By Beth Bacheldor
Sometime this month, Sadler and a team of IDF physicians plan to begin meeting with patients and their families one-on-one to explain the VeriMed system. Participation is voluntary, Sadler says, but IDF and VeriChip hope to enroll at least 50 percent of IDF's patients in the trial. Sadler adds that he plans to have a VeriMed tag embedded in his own arm as well.

Once a patient signs up for the pilot, IDF physicians who have been granted secure access to the VeriMed database will input that individual's medical information. This would include the name of the primary physician, diagnoses, where the patient receives treatment, the dialysis schedule, medications, any known allergies, recent lab-test data and so forth.

Many of the approximately 55 ER departments in Maryland's hospitals have already received the necessary equipment and training from VeriChip to participate in the trial, Sadler says, which is expected to run one to two years. Overall, VeriChip reports, approximately 600 U.S. health-care facilities—mostly hospitals, and most on the East Coast—have signed on to the VeriMed network.

Sadler says he hopes the implantable RFID chips, once linked with patients' medical records, will help prevent unnecessary treatment, improving patient care and lowering associated treatment costs. "If this can help avoid expensive care, hospitalizations and inappropriate medications," he says, " that'll avoid unnecessary care, and that'll save money and result in better care for the patients."

Earlier this summer, VeriChip launched a similar project involving Alzheimer's Community Care (ACC), a West Palm Beach, Fla., provider of support to Alzheimer's patients and their caretakers. As part of the two-year trial, ACC began implanting VeriMed RFID chips in about 200 clients of the organization who volunteered for the project (see Alzheimer's Care Center to Carry Out VeriChip Pilot).

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