Like something out of a science fiction novel, VeriChip (CHIP) 6.58 is successfully promoting its VeriMed business, which centers on the sale of a FDA-approved implantable RFID chip for human identification. Once thought of as something you might see only in a Stanley Kubrick film, or read about in a Stephen King novel, this chip is being touted as an automatic identification device used primarily in medical patients for emergency ID purposes.
According to its corporate website, the chip, which is roughly the size of a grain of rice, contains a 16-digit ID used to identify any patient in an emergency. All of this may sound a little scary for any card-carrying ACLU member, or the rest of us who may be concerned about the ever growing presence of "big brother." But, it appears that the company is also considering the possible concerns regarding invasion of privacy or other civil rights' issues. CHIP declares the device does not contain any other data other than the identification number and it does not contain any [GPS] device.
In addition to patient identification solutions, VeriChip also offers market-leading infant protection, wander prevention, and asset tracking applications. The company is majority-owned by Applied Digital (ADSX), a RFID applications company that specializes in animal applications and [GPS] and radio communications.
CHIP went public in February of this year and has been trading between $4-$7. On Monday, the stock rocketed more than 14% after a corporate press release reported that 78 new hospitals agreed to participate in the VeriMed Patient Identification System network. More than 600 hospitals have already agreed to participate in the VeriMed network.
A few weeks ago the company reported revenues for the first quarter of 2007 as $7.4 million compared to revenues of $6.6 million for the first quarter of 2006. Net loss in the first quarter of 2007 was $(3.3) million, or $(0.47) per share, compared to a net loss of $(1.0) million, or $(0.18) per share, in the first quarter of 2006. The loss primarily was attributed to the shift in corporate business to the VeriMed operation.
Because the VeriMed business remains unproven, it is uncertain whether or not this $60 million company provides a sound investment opportunity. However, the uniqueness and apparent growing popularity of the implantable human microchip makes it a company worth watching.