Microneedle patch tattoos provide painless pixelated possibilities

Originally published at: Microneedle patch tattoos provide painless pixelated possibilities | Boing Boing

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There’s always a relevant XKCD:


I had to look that one up, because my first thought was, “Billing account tattoo?”, and I didn’t find it surprising.


MN patch tattoos were designed with numbers, letters, symbols, environmentally responsive inks, and QR codes.

A painless method to stamp you with a QR code. That wont be abused.

Is is just me or were almost all the use cases they described awful? Gawd forbid someone gets the info wrong when they tattoo you.


Could microneedle patches also provide a more painless way to remove or cover up unwanted tattoos? Inject something (that body could tolerate) that bleaches the tattoo?


Possible use case.

Replicants. Gotta catch 'em all!


I’m just gonna pretend we don’t live in a dystopia and go oh cool.


Currently, the best method for removing unwanted tattoos is to burn the skin off, but if a bleaching ink were created, MN patches would be an ideal method.


I also thought it a little odd that one of the symbols tattooed on that poor rat seems to be a blue Star of David. A little too close for comfort to some of the identification techniques that were forced on certain populations in the 1930s and 40s.


In the case of blood type, it wouldn’t be trusted anyway. People have all sorts of methods for marking their blood type. People wear bracelets or necklaces, racers put it on their helmets, tattoos, cards in their wallet, etc. Doesn’t matter. Doctors and hospitals always test before a transfusion no matter what. It’s fatal to get that wrong, so nothing other than a “type and cross” done in the moment is trusted.

Source: my mom was an emergency room nurse.


For when your microbrew brand is on the tip of your tongue but you can’t remember it, and a thousand other won ton reasons.


The missus works at the local hospital (especially blood bank) and brings home horror stories every day of nurses taking shortcuts or overriding warning messages.

I was thinking more specifically of replacing wristbands with tattoos, and those are often made incorrectly or misread (because labeks wear and wrinkle) but nurses frequently ignore the warning nessages.


Ah, I was wondering why it had a circle in the center and solid triangles. The general shape makes sense from a standpoint of establishing what’s possible fidelity and longevity-wise (ie, can all components of the shape be transferred clearly and stay that way). I wonder if someone on the team noted the potential issues and revised it to avoid such questions.


but would the information actually be used?
i say this because i know someone who had a ‘do not resuscitate’ tattoo on his chest and we had a big discussion about the legality of it. as it is not a legal document. would a doctor who has agreed to the Hippocratic oath not resuscitate as that could open themselves up to be sued? i believe, once in a coma the desires of the patient mostly go unheeded as family wishes steer the care/procedure(s) from then on.
i wonder about these little tattoos and if observed, would they be viewed as legit or would the nurse, doctor, etc. not trust that the tattoo is actual truthful information?


This would be sweet for the tattoo of the Perl DeCSS one-liner to decrypt DVDs that you’ve always wanted.


Wow. Maybe the standard of care on this is different in the US, then.

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I presume so. I haven’t experienced Canadian healthcare.

The missus brings home stories of wrinkled wristbands being mis-scanned and the device alerts the nurse that the person they just scanned is not a patient, or worse is a different patient. But the nurses override the alerts, so the results of a test get added to a different patient’s record.

Or the times when a patient wasn’t labelled in the emergency room so the labels were added later, but two patients received the same wristband, so Mr. Hernandez almost started getting meds for ovarian cancer.

These cases would be made a lot worse with indelible tattoos


“It’s on the tip of my tongue!”
“That’s okay, I’m sure you’ll remember-”
(sticks out tongue) “Nunh! Ah meah it’h liherahly tatoohed ah tha tip uh mah tuhnh!”


Countdown until some genius comes along hawking NFTs as a solution to this.


Now I’m going to have to look through all of Half Man Half Biscuit’s lyrics to see if they’ve got one - they usually do.

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