back to article Neuralink wants 3 more quadriplegic patients for its brain control interface trial

Elon Musk's Neuralink is recruiting another three subjects for its brain implant study. The first patient received their implant in January. Neuralink was quick to show off evidence of the technology's effectiveness in March – at least in terms of the subject being able to play some games – before admitting this month that …

  1. imanidiot Silver badge

    Long term support

    The biggest question any patient in these trials should have is: What happens after 72 months (or even sooner) if Neuralink either no longer exists or moves on to newer prototypes. How long will they actually support the devices they implant? Or will participants end up with a dead, unsupported device in their body that the manufacturer no longer wants to support or where the manufacturer and records on what exactly is implanted and how to remove it are no longer available?

    I have a hard time trusting a company operating in the medical field that seems to hold a "move fast and break things" approach to medical device creation.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Long term support

      I would upvote you multiple times if I could.

      That exact thing (company bought out, new owners discontinued all support for the device and canceled all pending upgrades/fixes and laid off most of the employees with little to no notice) happened with an optical implant company, Second Sight. (link is to a 2022 article on the IEEE site about the entire debacle- it's pretty well researched.)

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Long term support

      To be fair that's probably true of any company working in this field. They won't "support" their one-off experimental devices forever, if they figure out how to make a stable one that's FDA approved they'll want to remove what you have and implant the new one.

      I'm sure that's covered somewhere in the huge number of pages they have to read/sign to be a candidate.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Long term support

        > if they figure out how to make a stable one that's FDA approved they'll want to remove what you have and implant the new one.

        There's a possibility that if you've had this kind of device before then it may not be possible to have a new one fitted as the brain was damaged by the first. That's the kind of question I'd ask if I had the misfortune to need one.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Long term support

          Volunteering for something like this is inherently risky. Not being able to get the "production" device is hardly the biggest risk they're taking.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: hardly the biggest risk they're taking.

            No, trusting the twat who fired the whole charging department because he didn't like someone disagreeing with him is by far the biggest risk they're taking. If the man-child decides you've looked at him in a funny way watch out, that implant is coming out a fuck sight faster than it went in.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: hardly the biggest risk they're taking.

              "If the man-child decides you've looked at him in a funny way watch out, that implant is coming out a fuck sight faster than it went in."

              Just as scary is the CEO of the company, Jared Birchall, who many consider as Elon's henchman and overseer of dirty jobs. A shadowy figure with little published on his past and few photos.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Long term support

        > They won't "support" their one-off experimental devices forever

        That's fine for a phone, or car, or disk drive, but that's bullshit for a medical device surgically implanted in someone. You need to support that for as long as they need it.

        That's known as "taking responsibility for your actions" - remember when people used to do that?

    3. Paul Kinsler

      Re: Long term support

      The previous article about this in El Reg reported there was a problem with the inserted wires falling out of the brain, so perhaps the issue will be self-solving :-)

    4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Long term support

      Just waiting to see Louis Rossmann's rant on the subject, when it turns out that the product is no longer supported...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hi, your Neuralink requires an update, please contact support

    :poo emoji:

  3. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Could equally describe...

    "PRIME: An Early Feasibility Study of a Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface for the Control of External Devices."

    Could equally describe John Lumic's Cybus Industries' "Ultimate Upgrade™." ;)

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