THE BLOG
11/23/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

There's No Business Like Flu Business

My friend Max is a student of the market, among other things, and is always looking for good investments, so I wasn't surprised when he sent me an article a day or two ago about the newest thing in swine flu prevention. According to Reuters:

The patents, held by VeriChip partner Receptors LLC, relate to biosensors that can detect the H1N1 and other viruses, and biological threats such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, VeriChip (CHIP.O) said in a statement.

The technology will combine with VeriChip's implantable radio frequency identification devices to develop virus triage detection systems.

Shares of VeriChip Corp (CHIP.O) tripled after the company said it had been granted an exclusive license to two patents, which will help it to develop implantable virus detection systems in humans.

This fascinated me immediately. As you know, I have for quite some time posited the inevitability that a host of products and services will one day be implanted in human wetware for purposes of convenience and efficiency. Included in this category of human improvement are, naturally, all cell phones, personal digital assistants and video/audio screens. The jawbone, for instance, would make a terrific antenna for any cellular or G3 transmissions if the proper filiment were subtly inserted beneath the skin there, and the mastoid bone behind the ear could hide a multitude of hardware-related objects and is naturally convenient to touch-based control.

In the near future, then, we are already seeing technology designed to detect and alert health care officials to the presence of swine flu in our midst. It's only a matter of time before every young MBA will be strolling down the street, hands free, chatting with his peers in the ether, reading tweets or screening home-made video on a little, implanted screen designed to pop down out of a fleshy skin above the eyebrow. How much more convenient life will be for those future digital pseudopods! Will the first volunteers for elective surgery please line up?