RIP my VivoKey Apex Flex

Not sure what happened, but my Apex seems to have died. No longer scans on my phone, Tesla, or ACR1252U-M1. Unless UV lamps affect it somehow, I can’t think of any damage it may have taken. I did have it implanted on the blade of my right hand, which is not recommended.

Now to decide how to remove it, and if I should buy another one.

Anyone else had their Apex Flex die?

If you remove it, do it carefully and send it back to us. I will repair it if possible. I’ve done this with one other apex flex that was also in the knife edge.

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Do you think this damage is related to the knife edge? I’m not planning on getting one there but I’m just curious what kind of stresses this puts on the Apex.

It’s possible, but I have no idea. @amal is probably the one to answer that.

The previous Apex Flex I repaired seemed to have a fault in the antenna PCB which is likely due to rough impacts being in the knife edge.

The mob package and chip itself was fine, I just moved it to a new antenna and encapsulated, sterilized, and shipped.


Well it’s good to know its easily repairable. I will take into account that the apex probably can’t handle a bunch of hard whacks.

It’s possibly repairable. If the mob package cracks then it’s not likely repairable

Have you ever witnessed a cracked package? If so, how in the hell did they manage to do that? I feel like cracking the package is way harder than snapping the antenna off the solder joints.



In the early days of Walletmor there were some inexperienced installers putting them in, and I saw a video of someone grip the very outer edge of the implant with forceps and then try to push it into an incision that wasn’t big enough. It folded up on them and that cracked the potting ABS of the mob package. The MOB10 packages used are quite thin so it’s not a sturdy block of potting material like you might see in SMT components. I assume the very few cracked packages I’ve seen were actually problems with installation which resulted in damage during installation that eventually resulted in failure.

I’ve never had a package have solder connection problems with this type of PCB where the solder cracked or became unreliable. I’ve had issues with too much solder paste causing shorts and other problems, but that manufacturing issue was quickly identified and resolved… and actually it was a customer with an x-ray inspection machine who helped identify the problem.

I think there are potentially some possible manufacturing defects with some of the PCB antennas that result in fragility. We’ve done stress testing on these antennas but everything has tolerance and variability - just because your design is good doesn’t mean every single PCB manufactured will be equally good… there are some duds that make it through which test ok in terms of RF performance, but may have physical defects which make them fragile… at least that’s my guess at this point.

I think the only way to ensure against this possibility would be to get a descent x-ray inspection machine and do some inspection / validation of inventory before using them in production. Anyone got a spare $50k laying around?

Ah so don’t grip a flex with forceps. I don’t think I’d even think to do that. I’d be so scared of ripping or scratching the polymer I wouldn’t even think about cracking the actual pcb or package. Maybe we should build an X-ray inspection machine like William Osman’s garage X-ray imaging machine. Who’s got a lab they are fine with having temporarily irradiated?

I’m scheduled to get the implant removed tonight. Do you have any tips/tricks I can relay?

Also, where should I ship it?

I’m assuming it’ll be a reprocessing

Probably best you go through the ticket system

Go to the DT webstore, and click the
bottom right

Good luck, but don’t stress

I’ve had a couple of felxies removed, no issue, they just slip straight out.

Your remover will have hands on and figure out the best way

Just ask them to try to avoid gripping and ripping… coax it out by pressing extradermally and nudging it towards the incision.

Exactly how mine were done

It’s out now, took a bit of wiggling but we got it.


imho if it cant sustain at least as much force as a bone, its not a useable implant.

That’s kind of an insane bar lol. That would probably eliminate a ton of effective medical devices too.


Okay, if that’s your opinion, don’t get a flex implant, I guess. Lol.

But I have some questions regarding at which point do you consider an implant usable.

As strong as which bone does a usable implant need to be in your opinion? There are stronger and weaker bones in the human body, so which bone do you compare the implants to?"

Also do you measure your ideal in Tensile Strength or Compressive Strength or Shear Strength or Flexural Strength or Torsional Strength or Impact Strength or Fatigue Strength or Creep Strength or Yield Strength?

Im just curious, at which point do you consider an implant usable, and why?


So it all depends on the location an implant is supposed to be installed. If i have an implant in my hand, it should be able to endure at least the same levels of stress my hand can or it will inevitably get damaged by me only doing my daily business. I dont want an implant that i need to think about on a regular basis when i do stuff. Especialy the Hands are a part of the body that is used so often by anyone in their daily business of living that having an implant there that is unable to sustain theese stresses is comparable to a disabilty.