Neuralink Corp., the brainchild of Elon Musk and a select group of scientists, is gearing up for human trials of its groundbreaking implantable brain chip.
The technological marvel, championed by the visionary tech CEO, promises to revolutionize humanity, and people are signing up through the patient registry.
Revolutionizing Lives Through Implantable Brain Chips
Adam Woodworth, a 40-year-old security manager from Indianapolis who suffers from short-term memory loss resulting from a military injury, expressed his enthusiasm in a Rolling Stones article for being at the forefront of medical science. He sees Neuralink’s device as a potential solution for treating brain disorders like his and Alzheimer’s disease.
Woodworth acknowledged the risks involved but is willing to take the leap, stating, “Someone has to be willing to step up and take that risk. I am willing to be one of those people if Elon and the Neuralink team allow me to participate.”
Woodworth also entertains the idea of using his mind to communicate with his Tesla, demonstrating the profound impact this technology could have on daily life.
In early 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially blocked Neuralink’s research citing safety concerns. But after more than a year of dedicated efforts to address these issues, the company successfully resolved them to the agency’s satisfaction. Recently, Neuralink announced it had obtained approval to conduct human clinical trials. An FDA spokesperson, confirming the development, emphasized the agency’s commitment to minimizing risks and ensuring that the potential benefits outweigh them.
While Neuralink aims to proceed with caution and ensure the efficacy of its device before implanting it in humans, Musk plans to be among the first recipients. “You could have a Neuralink device implanted right now, and you wouldn’t even know. I mean, hypothetically. In fact, in one of these demos, I will,” he revealed, reiterating his commitment on Twitter.
Powerhouses Backing Neurotechnology
Investors are taking notice of the immense potential in the brain-computer interface (BCI) field. Projections indicate that the global brain computer interface market will reach multimillion-dollar valuations by 2030. The forecast for the period between 2023 and 2030 displays a higher-than-anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) compared to the data observed from 2017 to 2022.
In addition to Musk, some of the wealthiest and most influential people are investing significant funds into the field, driven by a shared vision that this technology has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and transform everyday life.
Tech billionaires Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have both recently supported the Brooklyn-based startup Synchron through their venture-capital funds. Synchron has conducted tests on its brain stent in a group of seven people. Reflecting on the involvement of these high-profile figures, Robert Nelsen, a biotech investor at Arch Venture Partners who has invested in both Neuralink and Synchron, told Business Insider, “Elon, Gates and Bezos are always intrigued by things that could change the game.”
Investing In BCIs: Exploring Promising Opportunities
While no BCI startup has gone public, it’s worth noting that their fundraising rounds have typically been modest in comparison to larger, more mature biotech companies. However, for investors seeking opportunities in the neurotechnology space, Trubrain is a startup currently available for anyone to invest. With its innovative brain enhancement solutions, Trubrain has been gaining traction and actively raising funds to support its expansion and research initiatives.
There are also a number of public companies conducting research and producing producing in the brain technology sector.
CTRL-Labs FB: Focused on enabling individuals to control computers using their minds, CTRL-Labs was acquired by Facebook in 2019, indicating the social media giant’s interest in mind-computer interface technology.
NeuroPace NPCE: NeuroPace specializes in responsive neurostimulation technology for seizure patients. Its cutting-edge responsive neurostimulation (RNS) system can detect and respond to abnormal brainwaves, offering potential benefits to people with epilepsy.
Trimble Inc. TRMB: Collaborating with the privately held company Neurable Inc., Trimble aims to broaden access to BCIs in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries, driving efficiency and innovation in these fields.