A few months after obtaining FDA approval for human trials, Neuralink is looking for his first guinea pigs. The Verge reports: THE initial six-year trial, which the Elon Musk-owned company calls the “PRIME study,” is intended to test Neuralink technology designed to help people with paralysis control devices. The company is I’m looking for people (PDF) with quadriplegia due to vertical spinal cord injury or ALS, over the age of 22 and having a “consistent and reliable caregiver” to be part of the study.
The PRIME study (which apparently stands for Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface, although that acronym makes no sense) aims to research three things at once. The first is the N1 implant, Neuralink’s brain-computer device. The second is the R1 robot, the surgical robot that actually implants the device. The third is the N1 user application, the software that connects to the N1 and translates brain signals into computer actions. Neuralink says it plans to test both the security and effectiveness of all three parts of the system.
Those who participate in the PRIME study will first participate in an 18-month study that includes nine visits with researchers. After that, they will spend at least two hours a week in research sessions on the brain-computer interface, then make 20 additional visits over the next five years. Neuralink does not specify how many subjects it is researching or when it plans to begin the study, but says it only plans to offset “study-related costs” such as travel to and from the study location. (Also unclear: where this location is. Neuralink only says it has received approval from “our first hospital site.”)