Birth control microchip technology is about to take a huge leap forward with help from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates, the former Microsoft head, is working with MicroCHIPS, a Massachusetts firm licensed to use a controlled-release microchip technology, for a new form of BC that can be turned on and off by remote control. It’s also reportedly good for 16 years, notes the National Post.
From the National Post report:
The birth control microchip, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would hold nearly two decades worth of a hormone commonly used in contraceptives and dispense 30 micrograms a day, according to a report from the MIT Technology Review.
The new birth control, which is set to begin preclinical testing next year with hopes of putting it on shelves in 2018, can be implanted in the buttocks, upper arm or abdomen.
By being able to activate and deactivate the birth control at will, women could avoid trips to the clinic for a new prescription. Also, if a woman decided she wanted to have a child, she wouldn’t need to remove the implant to do so.
The Gates Foundation has given more than $4.5 million to MicroCHIPS, Inc., to “develop personal system that enables women to regulate their fertility,” the foundation’s website notes.
“The Gates Foundation is always looking for new ways to foster and accelerate innovative ideas that can improve, and even save, people’s lives,” said Chris Wilson, the foundation’s director of global health discovery, in a news release. “We are continually impressed by the talented people … with exciting ideas that can help address issues of great importance to women and children.”
MicroCHIPS’ website states that “These arrays are designed for compatibility with pre-programmed microprocessors, wireless telemetry or sensor feedback loops to provide active control. Individual device reservoirs can be opened on demand or on a predetermined schedule to precisely control drug release or sensor activation.”
With the recent controversy surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision stating that closely held employers could pick and choose the forms of birth control that they would cover, this could be a welcome bit of news for those outraged by the 5-4 decision.
What do you think about this technology, readers? If you’re a woman looking for a birth control alternative to “the pill,” would you be willing to have a birth control microchip implanted in your body?