A brain implant turns the thoughts of a man with ALS into tweets

The 62-year-old can translate his thoughts thanks to the computer interface implanted in his brain .


A 62-year-old man with ALS , amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was able to turn his thoughts into tweets thanks to a computer interface in his brain.

“Hello World!” tweeted Philip O’Keefe, who suffers from progressive paralysis caused by the disorder, according to the account of Synchron CEO Thomas Oxley. “Short tweet. Monumental progress “.

“My hope is to be paving the way for people to tweet through their thoughts,” he added.

How do i do it?

The ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig ‘s disease, has caused O’Keefe, 62, lost many motor functions and can not work. In April 2020, he received the Stentrode BCI, a small set of electrodes mounted on a kind of chip implanted in the brain through the jugularis.

In July, the Food and Drug Administration granted regulatory approval to the neurotechnology startup to begin testing the device on volunteers.

“When I first heard about this technology, I knew how much independence it could give me back,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “The system is amazing, it’s like learning to ride a bike; it takes practice, but once you’re riding it becomes natural.”

The system is designed for patients suffering from paralysis as a result of a wide range of conditions, and aims to be easy to use and reliable for patients to use autonomously.

“Now, I just think about which part of the computer I want to click, and I can send emails, bank, shop and now send messages to the world through Twitter,” he added.

“These fun Christmas tweets are actually an important moment for the field of implantable brain-computer interfaces,” Oxley said in the statement. “They highlight the connection, the hope and the freedom that the BCI brings to people like Phil who have had much of their functional independence taken away due to debilitating paralysis.”