"Developed by US tech start-up MicroCHIPS, the device will begin pre-clinical testing in 2015. If the testing is a success, the device will be on the market by 2018.
According to Gwen Kinkead at MIT Technology Review, the device is just 20 x 20 x 7 mm, which is small enough to be implanted under the skin of the buttocks, upper arm, or abdomen. It uses a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel, which is already featured in many current contraceptives, and it dispenses 30 mg of it per day via a special heat-activated seal.
The device is fitted with enough of the hormone to last 16 years, at which point a replacement will need to be implanted.
One of the biggest selling points of the device - besides not having to remember to take a pill every single day - is that if a woman gets to the point where she’d like to conceive, she can turn the implant off with a remote control. Once she’s ready to receive the contraceptive hormones again, another click on the remote control will start the chip. If she’d like to change the dosage, that can be administered remotely by her doctor.
The team is currently refining the device - which includes ensuring that its wireless data flow is secure - before filing an application with the Food and Drug Administration. They’re also looking into how the device can be used to deliver other drugs to the body, such as osteoporosis medications, which currently require daily injections."