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Brain-computer Interfaces

Brain-computer Interfaces

Brain-computer interfaces: Connecting the human brain with technology

Wouldn’t it be fascinating to control a computer with just your thoughts? Imagine scrolling through your social media or surfing the web just by thinking… wouldn’t it be exciting to play games without lifting a finger? Most importantly, how life-changing would it be if a paralyzed person could communicate, walk, and move using only their thoughts? These ideas have been in human consciousness for a long time, evident in popular science-fiction films from the 1900s, and today, the concept of connecting a human brain to a computer is closer to becoming a reality in the form of brain-computer interfaces (BCI).
Although BCIs have been studied for decades, the technology became the talk of the town after Neuralink, Elon Musk’s BCI startup, received FDA approval to conduct human clinical trials in May 2023, having subsequently raised a whopping USD 280 million in Series D funds within three months. The company aims to help paralyzed people take small steps toward regaining control; e.g., moving a cursor or typing on a computer using only their thoughts. Neurological disorders affecting people are rampant today, and BCIs are now emerging as the light at the end of a dark tunnel plaguing human health and well-being. 
This Insight explores BCI as a technology, types of BCIs and their applications in the medical sector, industry landscape, key players, demand drivers, challenges to growth, and the potential of the technology in the healthcare sector.

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