Tattooing Patients With UV Ink Could Protect Pacemakers From Hackers

UV Tattoo

More and more implantable devices, like pacemakers or defibrillators, are turning to wireless signals as a means to communicate with external devices, but in doing so they open themselves to security breaches. Several solutions are in the works that tackle this problem by upping device defenses, but by piling on security measures, yet another risk emerges: that at a critical time an authorized physician might not be able to access the device.

So Microsoft Research proposes putting a new technological spin on an old, time-tested security protocol: protect every device with a password, then tattoo the password right onto the patient in invisible UV ink.

Popular Science: Tattooing Patients With UV Ink Could Protect Pacemakers From Hackers

(Thanks Wade)


  1. The way I understand it, anything UV reactive is a possible carcinogen. Not a good idea.

  2. @Jason: The dangerous tattoo ink that you might be mixed up with is called “Radioluminescent ink”, better known as “glow in the dark” ink. You do not need a blacklight to see this, it emits it’s own light, and it is incredibly dangerous to anyone who exposes themselves to it for a period of time.
    The ink undergoes radioactive decay, and emits a gamma rays and/or subatomic particles, which is a proven carcinogen and is illegal in most countries- With the possible exception of Indonesia. Anyone who gets Radioluminescent ink tattoo’s is putting their long-term health at risk and will possibly be giving themselves cancer in their later years.

    That much said, the colour “ultra-violet” is all around us and is just as natural as any other colour pigment. It is everywhere- From most species of flowers, to birds and things we eat on a daily basis, even our own bodies produce UV pigment. If you’ve had a pet budgie, it would have had glowing pink ultraviolet dots on it’s cheeks. 🙂

    It’s just invisible to the human eye under normal lighting since we did not evolve to have the eyes to see it- Just like most species of deep sea fish and some insects cannot see the colour Red.

  3. I should add: Years of scientific research, observation and experimenting has shown that it is just as safe as any other colour for tatooing.
    And sorry for the essay I didn’t want to leave anything out. 🙂

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