Pushing the boundaries of brain-computer interface software

[Image from Milad Fakurian on Unsplash]

Neuroscientist Sumner Norman and AE Studio develop open-source and free tools for the brain-computer interface (BCI) space.

BCI technology has become one of the hottest areas of medtech. Companies are developing a multitude of methods with their own systems that would allow patients to control a computer with their brain. Such technology could enable immobile people to control a mouse cursor, keyboard, mobile device/tablet, wheelchair or prosthetic device by only thinking.

“My goal is to give abilities back to those that have lost them, and eventually, to improve how all of us interact with technology and each other — the ultimate human-machine interface,” Norman told Medical Design & Outsourcing. “And what’s more human than our brain, the organ that contains our every memory, thought and intention?”

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Blackrock Neurotech and Pitt work on first at-home BCI system for remote trials

Blackrock Neurotech’s Utah array is used in its brain-computer interface implant to sense brain signals [Photo courtesy of Blackrock]

Blackrock Neurotech and the University of Pittsburgh’s Rehab Neural Engineering Labs (Pitt RNEL) are working together on the first portable brain-computer interface (BCI) to allow patients to participate in research trials from home.

A Blackrock representative said it’s the final step as the company prepares to launch its first commercial product early next year.

Salt Lake City-based Blackrock plans to submit its first commercial BCI device, called MoveAgain, to the FDA this year.

Blackrock wants its BCI platform to be the first one that’s commercially available to people with paralysis. Its implant has been used in patients since 2004 through research studies, with zero FDA-reported serious adverse events since then.

“Through this expansion…

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Synchron’s neuroscience director explains the brain implant technology and potential applications

The Synchron brain-computer interface system relays signals from the brain to a device in the chest, then translates the signals into action on a computer. [Image courtesy of Synchron]

Officials at Synchron, the developer of the catheter-delivered Stentrode brain-computer interface (BCI) implant, believe they’re the only BCI company tapping into blood vessels to capture signals from the brain.

They say they’ve already enabled a small group of paralyzed ALS patients to control a computer with their minds, and hope there will be more applications of their technology.

Shortly after the New York-based company released new results of a safety study for its implant, Synchron Director of Neuroscience Peter Yoo spoke with Medical Design & Outsourcing about the Stentrode implant and how catheter delivery could make BCI technology simpler, safer and more accessible than the leading alternative: ope…

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