The Massachusetts-based startup MicroCHIPS is developing a remote-controlled contraceptive for women. The device should be available for preclinical testing in 2015.
The birth control device will deliver a daily dose of 30 micrograms of levonorgestrel, which is the active ingredient in various forms of oral contraceptives. The drug will be sent through an implant in the buttocks, upper arm, or abdomen, and can be turned on or off with just a press of a button on a wireless remote.
If everything goes as planned, the birth control device will be available in 2018 for mass consumption. The device could last for up to 16 years in the body, and doctors could adjust the doses remotely.
Apparently, the original idea for the birth control device came from Bill Gates, who asked MicroCHIPS co-founder Robert Langer if creating such a device was possible while touring an MIT lab. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is currently helping fund the device via its Family Planning Program.
Although the project is coming along nicely, more work, like making sure the wireless network is safe and secure, would need to be done before MicroCHIPS files an application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).