Neuralink, the brain-computer interface startup founded by Elon Musk, has achieved a historic milestone: implanting its device in a human patient for the first time. The patient, whose identity has not been disclosed, is “recovering well,” and the initial results show “promising neuron spike detection,” according to Musk’s post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Neuralink’s device, called Telepathy, is a wireless implant that aims to help patients with severe paralysis control external technologies using only their neural signals. The implant consists of ultra-fine threads that are inserted into the brain by a surgical robot, and a small chip that is placed behind the ear. The chip communicates with the threads and transmits the brain activity to a smartphone app, where the patient can control various devices, such as a computer mouse, a keyboard, or a wheelchair.
Neuralink received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct its first in-human clinical trial in May 2023, and began recruiting patients in the fall. The trial is designed to evaluate the safety and functionality of the implant, as well as the feasibility of the surgical procedure. The trial will involve up to 10 patients with quadriplegia, or paralysis of all four limbs, who will receive the implant and undergo training and testing sessions for up to 24 months.
Neuralink’s vision is to enable patients with severe degenerative diseases, such as ALS, to communicate or access social media by moving cursors and typing with their minds. Musk said that the ultimate goal is to achieve faster and more accurate communication than a speed typist or an auctioneer. He also hinted at future applications of the technology, such as restoring vision, hearing, and movement, or even enhancing cognitive abilities.
Neuralink is not the only company working on brain-computer interfaces, or BCIs. Several other startups, such as Synchron, Precision Neuroscience, Paradromics, and Blackrock Neurotech, have also developed systems that can decode brain signals and translate them into commands for external devices. However, Neuralink claims to have an edge over its competitors in terms of the invasiveness, wirelessness, and bandwidth of its device.
Neuralink’s achievement is a remarkable step forward for the field of neurotechnology, which has the potential to revolutionize medicine, science, and society. However, the technology also raises ethical, social, and legal questions, such as the risks of hacking, privacy, consent, and regulation. As Neuralink progresses with its research and development, it will have to address these challenges and ensure that its technology is safe, reliable, and beneficial for humanity.
I hope you like this blog article. If you want to learn more about Neuralink and its technology, you can check out these sources:
- Elon Musk’s Neuralink implants brain tech in human patient for the first time
- Neuralink implants brain chip in first human, Musk says
- Elon Musk Says Neuralink Has Implanted First Brain Chip In Human Patient
- First Human Receives Neuralink Brain Implant, ‘Recovering Well’
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