Last year, the United States Food and Drug Administration department gave Neuranlink a green signal to conduct its first human trial. By September, the company had already received applications from thousands of volunteers willing to get a brain implant to help the company analyze brain activity. Now, in 2024, the company has started with human trials.
The First Neuralink Patient Is Recovering Well
In an X (formerly known as Twitter) post, Elon Musk announced that the first human received a Nueralink implant on Sunday, January 28, 2024. He also mentions that the patient is recovering well. Musk also adds that initial results show promising neuron spike detection, which indicates that the chip is able to monitor brain activity.
Here’s What The PRIME Study Wants To Do
Per the company’s website, the PRIME study wants to enable people with paralysis to control devices with their thoughts, allowing them to use a computer or a smartphone. However, the first step remains to determine how effective the N1 implant (the size of five stacked coins) and the R1 surgical robot are.
Once the patient recovers, the brain implant will help the company assess the functionality of the interface (Brain Computer Interface) it’s been working on for the past couple of years. The idea is to develop an interface that lets users interact with devices using their brain waves.
Neuralink’s First Product Is Called Telepathy
Musk also explains that the first Neuralink product is called Telepathy. It enables patients to take control of their phone or computer via their thoughts. Once the technology successfully bridges the patient’s brain activity to signals that a computer or a smartphone understands, the user can take control of almost any connected device.
“Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal,” Musk writes in a tweet. Ultimately, the billionaire founder wants to treat neurological disorders like Parkinson’s or ALS by establishing a connection between humans and robots. Nonetheless, how the trial pans out and whether the company gets the expected results remains to be seen.