Neuralink is about to begin human clinical trials of its wireless brain chip in six months, CEO Elon Musk said yesterday.
Neuralink has missed earlier timelines set by the CEO of the company. Musk expected to receive regulatory approval two years ago, and a new attempt is pending.
The wireless brain interface theoretically could provide possibilities to regain at least partial movement and communication abilities for disabled patients. In the future, the application areas of Neuralink’s interface could expand, too.
Musk went even further during the event by saying that their product will also be suitable for the purpose of restoring damaged vision – while also sharing his vision that this technology will provide the ability to see to even to those who were born blind.
“Even if someone has never had vision, ever, like they were born blind, we believe we can still restore vision,” Musk said.
In recent years, Neuralink has been conducting tests on animals. Now company seeks permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to begin clinical trials in humans.
“We want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work well before putting a device into a human,” commented Musk in his public announcement dedicated to sharing the latest updates on the state of development.
For now, FDA hasn’t issued any comment on this matter.
More than a year ago Neuralink demonstrated a monkey with a brain chip that could play a computer game by controlling it directly via its brain. No other technical demonstration was publicly revealed since then.
Meanwhile, Neuralink’s competitor Synchron achieved a major milestone in July – its implant was introduced to the brain of a human patient in the U.S., following the company’s regulatory approval in 2021. This company has also completed studies in four patients in Australia.