to store medical records
, ultimately making the jobs of paramedics and doctors that much easier, is hardly a new concept. But, for the most part, such devices have been limited to clinical trials. Asahi Kasei Corp. is hoping to change that with the debut of a tiny, 3cm-square charm that can be read by a computer or smartphone. In addition to basic info, such as name, birth date, and blood type, the chip could transmit links to more storage-intensive data like X-rays images. Instead of building out a proprietary system, the company is relying on established technology called FeliCa
from Sony. That means the device will enjoy broad compatibility with existing products, and should be inexpensive to produce. Asahi Kasei hopes to begin selling the medical amulets to cities and hospitals within a year, for as little as ¥2,000 (around $25).