Elon Musk’s start-up Neuralink has finally gained FDA approval to conduct its first clinical study on humans.
Neuralink aims to ultimately restore people’s mobility and vision by connecting the brain to computers.
Elon Musk struggled to previously win FDA approval due to safety concerns. However, now that Neuralink has received approval they hope this will represent an important first step into allowing technology to support many people.
The start-up will use its microchips to teat conditions. The chips are designed to interpret signals provided in the brain and relay the information to devices via Bluetooth, allowing the brain to communicate with computers directly through thought. The technology aims to treat conditions including paralysis and vision impair, supporting people to become more autonomous.
Whilst the start-up has promised that safety, accessibility and reliability were all prioritised during the engineering process, Neuralink will still need to overcome the ethical and technical challenges before it becomes widely available.
The company underestimated the time it needed to bring the implant to this stage, initially believing that it could begin implanting chips in 2020.
The clinical trial will not be the first time where an implant is tested inside people’s heads. Recently, Swiss researchers have experienced a similar breakthrough concerning brain implants.
Source: BBC News
Image Credit: iStock