Paralysed American Writes Tweet Using Thought Alone
14:06 GMT 26.12.2021 (Updated: 14:27 GMT 26.12.2021)
Stentrode, a technology pioneered by the Synchron brain interface platform company, is an endovascular brain implant that enables patients to control digital devices wirelessly through thought.
Philip O’Keefe, a 62-year-old Australian with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), wrote a tweet using just the power of his thinking: he messaged “Hello World” using the Stentrode brain computer interface.
hello, world! Short tweet. Monumental progress.— Thomas Oxley (@tomoxl) December 23, 2021
His message appeared on the Twitter account of Thomas Oxley, a neurointerventionist and chief executive of Synchron, the company that has invented this technology.
“When I first heard about this technology, I knew how much independence it could give back to me. The system is astonishing, it's like learning to ride a bike - it takes practice, but once you're rolling, it becomes natural...Now, I just think about where on the computer I want to click, and I can email, bank, shop, and now message the world via Twitter,” O’Keefe said.
The Australian has been using the technology to communicate with his family and business colleagues since he received the endovascular Stentrode brain computer interface in April 2020 after progressive paralysis caused by ALS.
“My hope is that I’m paving the way for people to tweet through thoughts,” he also said in one of his tweets.
According to Oxley, such tweets "highlight the connection, hope and freedom that BCIs give to people such as Phil who have had so much of their functional independence taken away because of debilitating paralysis."
“We look forward to advancing our brain computer interface, Stentrode, in the first US in-human study next year," Oxley added.
The Stentrode is an endovascular brain implant designed to enable patients wirelessly to control digital devices through thought. It is implanted via the jugular vein using neurointerventional techniques and does not require drilling into the skull or the performance of open brain surgery.