Researchers have long recognized that brain computer interface (BCI) could offer a solution for patients who, paralyzed due to injury or disease, cannot communicate through speech or typing.
Communication is fundamental to the human experience. A social species, we use speech and writing to convey our wants, needs, thoughts, and feelings to those around us. Disease or injury affecting communication can therefore impede both our ability to meet basic needs and to enjoy the profound fulfillment that comes from social connection.
Such is the case for individuals whose paralysis prevents them from engaging in traditional forms of communication. In the United States, over 150,000 people are paralyzed to this degree. These individuals have intact and highly active brains, but, due to damage or disease in the nervous system, cannot animate the muscles required for talking, writing, or typing.
Researchers have long recognized that brain computer interface (BCI) could offer a solution for these patients. By monitoring brain activity at its source, these neural interfaces provide a means to get information out of the brain and into the social world.
Up until now, technical challenges have complicated the development of a truly practical BCI for assistive communication. However, recent technological advancements in both neurotechnology and AI computing mean commercial assistive communication applications are now on the horizon.
At Paradromics, we are developing a direct data interface (DDI) with the brain. DDI is a class of implanted BCI that provides both the high data rate and the proximity to brain signals required for an effective assistive communication device.
Learn more about the current state of the art and future direction in Enabling Connection II: BCI for Assistive Communication.
Kawala-Sterniuk A, Browarska N, Al-Bakri A, et al. Summary of over Fifty Years with Brain-Computer Interfaces-A Review. Brain Sci. 2021;11(1):43.