223494 Placing Electronic Chips on Kids: An Analysis of US Public Behavior on Preparedness

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Krystin Burnette , Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Yoon Soo Park, MS , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
David M. Abramson, PhD MPH , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University, New York, NY
Background: Radio Frequency Identifiers (RFID) is an automatic recognition technology, used for identifying and tracking items, animals, and people. In humans, the RFID system is a memory chip implanted under the skin either in the fatty tissue below the right bicep or between the thumb and index finger. When scanned by an RFID reader, the chip is verified by sending its recognition number and unique data through radio waves. The company VeriChip has marketed this product as a lifesaving device for doctors to learn medical history for unconscious patients and as a tracking device for parents. However, parents are skeptical to implant the gadget into their children.

Method: In 2008, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness conducted a public opinion survey of the U.S. public's attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors on preparedness and asked respondents about the likelihood of using such an electronic chip. The study used a random digit dial sampling strategy to capture a representative sample of U.S. residents.

Results: Out of 1,579 respondents sampled, 39.6% responded to be likely to implant an electronic chip, 55.5% responded that they would not be likely, while only 4.9% responded that they were not sure. The liberals occupied a significantly larger proportion than the moderates and the conservatives to plant the chip. Furthermore, women supported placing the chip significantly more than men.

Conclusion: Given such findings, the U.S. family reunification and preparedness policies should reexamine broader options in its agenda to include the RFID as a possible solution for family preparedness strategy.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
- Discuss the U.S. public's behaviors, attitudes, and opinions on preparedness. - Assess the implementation of placing electronic chips on children as a possible solution to family preparedness strategy. - Statistically analyze factors that significantly contribute to public preparedness.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a MPH and MPA student at Columbia University and have been working at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness for one year.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.