Mind-Reading Device Implanted in First US Patient

Brooklyn-based startup Synchron has recently implanted their brain device—called strenode—in a patient in the US for the first time. The device will help the patient, who cannot move or speak due to ALS, by converting their thoughts into text. The company has already implanted strenode into four patients in Australia who have successfully been able to communicate and surf the internet without side effects. The device is inserted without cutting through the skull or damaging tissue. Rather, an incision is made in the neck and strenode is fed into a blood vessel near the motor cortex via a catheter. Then, a second procedure connects strenode to a computing device located in the patient’s chest and is implanted like a pacemaker. The brain implant reads signals from neurons and sends them to the chest device which amplifies the directions to a computer via Bluetooth. While the technology is still developing and cannot yet translate full sentences, the less invasive procedure could be critical in helping patients with disabilities. Learn more about this breakthrough at Bloomberg.

Image courtesy of Bryan Anselm/Bloomberg Businessweek