Three members of a south Florida family were implanted Friday with microchips that provide access to their medical histories, a procedure some see as a life-saving innovation and others fear as a step down the road to Big Brother.

The tiny devices, the size of a grain of rice, are the product of a south Florida company called Applied Digital Solutions (ADS). The company is marketing the implants, known as VeriChips, as part of a system that lets hospital personnel access personal medical information in emergency situations.