Did you know….
While we’re over here enjoying all the advancements in technology through our favorite gaming system… incredible technology is being perfected to change people lives! Scientists have actually…for real…created a chip, powered by ARM, that can be implanted into the brain that helps those with brain and spinal injuries; it will lie inside the skull.
This chip has been designed to create movement and feeling when before there was none. Amazing! I am so happy to hear this news and grateful to hear we are finally making strides in this area. We can do so many things with technology these days and too often I wonder why more hasn’t been done to improve lives already...do you ever find yourself feeling this way? While this is all great news, scientists say the technology won’t be completely ready for use for another 10 years or so.
“They have some early prototype devices. The challenge is power consumption and the heat that it generates, they needed something ultra-small, with ultra-low power.” Says Peter Ferguson, ARM’s Director of Healthcare technologies.
The first stage is to generate a chip that withholds a system that transmits signals from the brain to a sensor implanted into the spinal cord. This will allow spinal cords victims and or neurological patients to control their mobility. CSNE also wants the device to receive information by sending signals back to it so that the brain begins to remember the movements. This would give people the ability to tell their brain how tightly to hold something or for how long. For patients who have suffered a stroke can also benefit from this… Being able to reteach the brain this way is crucial to the healing process, even more so for the permanent repairing this has the potential for.
“Not only are they trying to read the signals from the brain, but to feed something back to it. When you think about people with spinal cord injuries, the ability to use technology to bridge the spinal cord to get muscles to move again and more, that’s the far vision.” Ferguson further explained.
I read this article recently about a man who is taking this technology even further. You can’t keep this true gamer down for long and even though he is paralyzed, he still is determined to live and love his life! So inspirational to me, just incredible!
About a month ago, Ian Burkhart, was able to use his hands to play a specialized video game program for the first time since being in an accident that broke his neck. He was 18 while on vacation with his family, swimming in the ocean, a huge wave hit and pulled him under. As he struggled to swim to the surface another wave threw him crashing into a sandbar, the impact was too much and caused a severe spinal injury…Ian was paralyzed from the chest down.
When he turned 24, Burkhart opted to have the surgery to implant the chip. This gave Ian range of motion in his fingers, allowing to grasp cups and other items. This made him wonder if he could do more. Researchers created a game much like Guitar Hero, with the guitar and everything as well as a game closely related to “Frets On Fire.” It is because of Ian’s progress, scientists now believe technology will someday be able to give those with quadriplegic injuries, the ability to move freely and continue to do the activities they once loved.
Burkhart’s story truly is a first of it’s kind. In the past we have seen technology that allows the user to move a cursor across a screen or the ability to move a prosthetic arm or leg but, this is the first time someone has been able to move their limbs with just their thoughts alone. This lets Ian send signals from his brain to his hands just as he used to before his accident. As he says in the video above, it has given him back the movement he had in the past, as if he is not paralyzed at all. What an incredible gift! To have gone through something too tragic and heartbreaking to finally having hope for the future. He is excited to grow with this technology and to keep progressing. Who knows what’s in store for him! At this rate, paralyzed patients may even be able to walk again, to live the life they intended. I hope the next time we read about him, he is doing just that. I for one want to follow his story and see how it continues. How inspired are you by his story? Are you as inspired by him as I am? This is a man that decided to take a chance on something that was relatively considered unknown territory and now he’s changing the world. All I can say is…Way to go Ian!! Keep it up!!
That’s my story for today friends! Thanks so much for stopping by Ky’s Korner… Let’s do chat again very soon!
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