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How Neuralink is Shaping the Medical Device Industry in 2022

In 2021, I covered a lot of areas within the Medical Device market from Surgical, Diagnostics, Liquid Handling to Biosciences and more. I took a strong interest in different companies' technology, mission, and success. At the beginning of 2022 a new cutting-edge technology was seen on the horizon produced by Elon Musk.

The Tesla kingpin is expanding and procuring new innovative technologies in the medical devices world including Neuralink. This ground-breaking venture in the medical device sphere can be seen from the innovative progresses being made by Musk around the ideas of artificial intelligence and external devices to effectively upgrade any individual’s brain.

What does Neuralink do?

For those of you who are unaware of what Neuralink focuses on, they are developing a device that Musk has described as “a Fitbit in your skull,” with the ability to measure an individual’s movement, body temperature and other information. This then wirelessly transmits the collected data to a mobile device. 

Currently Neuralink are heavily studying and testing human brain’s neurons that transmit signals to cells in the body including muscle, nerve, gland and other neuron cells. Every neuron is made up of three parts, the dendrite, the soma (cell body) and the axon. Every part has its own function, Dendrite receives the signals, Soma processes the signals, and the Axon transmits the signals to other cells. The electrodes included in Neuralink read electrical signals produced by neurons in the brain, this is then outputted in either an action or movement with neurotransmission being the only definitive way of effectively transmitting these signals through the device that is being placed into the brain.

Recent success can be seen in the Pager Monkey trials: virtual mind ping pong. The N1 Link chip is placed into the motor cortex, this has full control over the arm and hand movements of an individual in this case, Pager. By placing two links into both the left and right cortex it enables a response to visual cues and touch. By playing the game of virtual ping pong it uses electrical signals in the visual cortex which respond to seen prompts. The benefits of this can be seen as a way of controlling voluntary movements and correcting any past damage which there may have been previously. By understanding neural pathways, a clear predictive pattern can be understood by Neuralink. What it has created is a real time response through neural activity to what is being presented in front of someone. The possibilities are endless, by being in control of different cortices in the brain and gaining deeper understanding into neuro transmissions, corrections of any fault can be possible and so the implementation for solving physical and other issues become limitless. 

The benefits of artificial intelligence with Neuralink are numerous and, in a sense, limitless, with the chip being implanted into the brain the device can overcome any physical issue that a person could be experiencing. Elon stated the device would play a huge part in recovering people from severe injuries such as spinal breaks, resolve issues with eyesight, hearing and people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. However, it is not exclusive to just these areas, the boundaries can be limitless with any slight change in programming that may be required a simple update can serve and relinquish any physical or psychological prohibitions being experienced by the individual. The possibilities are endless. 

Musk is a man who carries a heavy motivation on improving the world and humankind which has made him very respected by a lot of people in the world - many things that have been considered close to impossible have been made possible by him. Musk has continued his ambitious and challenging road, hoping to make Neuralink and humans read and write thoughts and memories, enable telepathic communication and ultimately merge human and artificial intelligence (AI) with Neuralink.

Mantell Associates is a specialist Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Head-Hunting organisation. To find out how we can assist with your business requirements, contact Ewan Rennison on +44 (0)20 3778 0990 or ewan.rennison@mantellassociates.com.