A man six years ago from Ohio University student gets injured on a beach vacation with his friends when a diving injury injured his spine, leaving him paralyzed in his arms and legs.
With new “neural bypass” technology, Burkhart can use his hand for functional movements like pouring liquid out of a bottle, swiping a credit card, or playing a guitar video game in rhythm.
As reported in the journal Nature, it’s the first time a neural computer interface has given precise movement to a human limb using only the patient’s thoughts.
The initial breakthrough took place in 2014 when Burkhart was able to pick up a spoon, and two years later he’s now able to swipe a credit card, make a drink and even play Guitar Hero. The breakthrough is the result of ten years worth of research and a partnership between science non-profit Batelle and Ohio State University.
Burkhart injured his spine in a diving accident six years ago, effectively blocking the tubes and ensuring the instructions can’t reach their destination.
Bouton says: Then the patient or user sees the improvement in his movement, and can then learn and improve those movements over time. The machine and the patient are learning together. After 10 to 15 minutes, the performance goes up significantly.
Batelle, however, had spent the better part of a decade developing a technology called Neurobridge. The system effectively builds a new vacuum tube out of the body, conveying the information from the brain to the limb and cutting out the middle man
Dr. Jerry Mysiw is a 30-year veteran of neuroscience, but even he is staggered at the level of improvement. He believes that this is the first time we’ve been able to offer realistic hope to people who have very challenging lives.
He further said, If I could use that in my everyday life it would decrease the amount of assistance I need from other people, With the movements I can do today, I would take the system home in a heartbeat if they offered it.