- Neuralink opened the app for its human trials in September.
- The company is said to have attracted the interest of thousands of people.
- Here’s who’s eligible and how the application works.
Neuralink began recruiting for its first human trial less than two months ago and thousands of people have reportedly expressed interest in one of the company’s brain implants.
The startup Brain Chip was co-founded by Elon Musk in 2016 and ultimately aims to create a device that would allow people to do anything from communicate telepathically to play games using only their minds. But first, Neuralink said it hopes to help people with serious neurological conditions by allowing them to control devices and communicate using only their brain activity.
The company received approval to begin human trials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May. The device is about the size of a quarter and has several ultra-thin wires that can only be implanted using a robot. According to Bloomberg, the company previously performed more than 150 implantation operations, using its robot to insert the brain chip into various animal testing subjects, including sheep, pigs and monkeys.
The operation requires a surgeon to cut out part of the patient’s skull, a process that would take “a few hours,” and then a robot inserts the device to replace the part of the skull that was removed.
Neuralink is reportedly still looking for its first volunteer, but the company hopes to operate on 11 people next year and more than 22,000 by 2030, according to Bloomberg.
How to Apply for the Neuralink Human Trial
Not just anyone can apply.
To be eligible for Neuralink human trials, you must have one of the following conditions: “tetraplegia, paraplegia, visual impairment or blindness, aphasia or inability to speak, hearing impairment or deafness and/or major amputation of a limb (affecting above or below the elbow and/or above or below the knee), depending on the request.
You must also be over 18 years old.
Individuals who meet these requirements can complete Neuralink’s patient registry application on the company’s website.
Prospective patients must first answer a few screening questions to ensure they meet the aforementioned qualifications.
Next, individuals must also complete a consent form regarding the sharing of their medical records, as well as provide information regarding their primary care provider and permission to provide Neuralink with CT and MRI scans of their head, results of HIV testing, records of any drugs or alcohol. abuse treatment and genetic testing information, according to the form.
After filling out the consent form, the application includes a questionnaire that the company says takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete.
Applicants selected for the trial via the patient registration form will eventually be contacted by Neuralink or a third party working with Neuralink, the application states.
The study will last approximately six years and include several follow-up visits so Neuralink can monitor the device and ensure it is working properly, according to the company. Patients will also be required to participate in at least two one-hour research sessions per week, the company’s brochure states.
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