The American startup Synchron was the first in the United States to implant a neurochip in the human brain. The operation took place on July 6 at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. This was reported by Bloomberg.
A 3.81 cm long implant, consisting of wires and electrodes, was inserted into a blood vessel in the brain of a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a nervous system disease characterized by progressive muscle paralysis. It is expected that after the operation, the patient will be able to browse websites and correspond on the Internet simply by thinking: the neurochip will translate his thoughts into commands on the computer.
In this case, the device is introduced into the patient's brain without cutting through the human skull and without damaging its tissues. The neurochip is inserted into a blood vessel through an incision in the neck. It is then connected via wire to a computing device implanted in the chest. It amplifies the signals coming from the neurochip and sends them to a computer or smartphone via Bluetooth. Over time, the implant fuses deeper and deeper with the blood vessel and approaches the neurons, thereby improving the signal strength.
Previously, the startup performed the same operation on four patients in Australia, who were successfully able to chat on WhatsApp and make purchases in online stores using the built-in neurochip. Side effects were not found. Synchron, having received the first approval for the introduction of an implant into the human brain in the United States, thus outstripped Elon Musk's Neuralink.
Neuralink is working on a smaller, more powerful implant that would require the removal of part of a patient's skull to insert it. However, the company has not yet received approval to perform this procedure on humans.
Synchron is a biomedical company developing neural interfaces to support people in the fight against complex diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The startup was founded in 2016.