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Let the Chips Fall

I have been floating around an idea which I think has a lot of merit and the time has come electronically. Grandma should be chipped! In this day and age when you buy something you can pay with Paypal, you can use a check, or you can use a credit card. Yes, cash is an option for you monetary Luddites. At one point the Green Hills Grocery store in the Valley had a way of paying for your groceries just by using your thumbprint and I loved that but they got rid of it. If you lose your wallet or your car keys there are now ways you can use electronic devices to recovery your items. There are a variety of these available including the tile system and tracker. You can use them to find your wallet. You can use them to find your phone or laptop. There is already technology that uses implanted chips … in your pet! You can get your dog or cat chipped so if they run off they can be identified when someone brings the animal to the vets office. If you would put a chip in your pet why won’t you chip grandma!?

There is already technology that uses implanted chips … in your pet! You can get your dog or cat chipped so if they run off they can be identified when someone brings the animal to the vets office.

For that matter I would also suggest chipping kids until the age of 18 when they can decide for themselves whether to stay chipped or not. Why wouldn’t you want to be able to find out where your kids are just by using an app on your phone? No more Amber alerts!! No worries about where your kids are after midnight. There is a phone finder app that you could potentially use to find where your kids are but what if they turn it off or it gets turned off by someone or they simply leave their phone at home etc. No way to turn off the chip. You could get the kids a chipped bracelet or necklace but what’s wrong with putting it under the skin somewhere so they can never screw it up.

Let’s get back to Grandma … She’s living alone now and she is getting older and slower but wants to stay in her house. Maybe you have taken over paying the bills. Maybe you do the driving now. Who doesn’t worry about momma? Well, get her chipped and half your worries go away. You can be notified when she leaves the house. You can monitor her driving. You can check on her from across the country. Maybe you worry she will wander off. Maybe you got her the upgraded version that can alert you if she falls. There is a great system in CNY called Project Lifesaver International that can find a demented patient who wanders but you have to have the person wear a special device and you have to use a helicopter (or now perhaps a drone) to find the signal put out by the device. This is expensive but effective. Central New York has Ruth Hurd Boshart to thank for this service. She essentially single handedly spearheaded this program and is a testament to what one motivated individual can accomplish! Technology has advanced and I think we can do better. I don’t think there really is a chip to put in people yet but there should be and someone is going to make a big pile of money when they finally come to market.

How about an timely and local example? The great New York State Fair is this month and you know how crowded it can get … how easy it is to get separated from your loved ones. Maybe you have taken the Boy Scout troop or you brought a few of the neighbors kids with you. You turn your back for one minute and someone’s gone … Are they in the bathroom or in the trunk of some car? Are they at the petting zoo or are they scoring drugs off the carny? Pull out your phone … activate the app and there they are! It’s just a matter of time before someone puts this together and I predict it’s going to become universal! I know you worry about your “privacy” but you really don’t have any privacy anymore and I think the safety issue will win out and eventually you too will want to get chipped. If you just think about it for a while you will eventually agree with me that this is a good idea … and it’s ready for prime time … all it will take is one of you millennials to get this going … Don’t make me do ALL the work. Until next month … Get well and stay well.

Dr. Barry