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Monday, October 25, 2021
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A Unique Take on Healthcare

Human beings, even with all their bags of potential, have had certain limitations. These limitations can be felt one way or the other in almost everything we do. Now, this might seem like something we just have to make our peace with, but a few visionaries across the board apparently just don’t like conceding defeat. Hence, in an attempt to break these walls, they came up with a weapon in technology. While no one initially expected a lot out of this creation, it didn’t take very long for technology to prove that it was the real deal. Out of nowhere, we were able to do things that were considered possible only in a fictional world. From improving the baseline quality of our lives to sending us into the space, technology answered every question that it was presented with along the way. However, as we grew into a more tech-oriented world, our needs also changed. It was no longer just about having a device that could carry out particular tasks, but along with it, the whole case also became much about convenience. So, what we did in response was that we started creating user-friendly devices. The result was quick, and it was beyond positive. Slowly, we instilled this principle in almost every major sector. One industry where it made the biggest impact was of healthcare. Being able to treat patients in a hassle-free manner changed the dynamics for medical institutions. Nevertheless, a recent development by Brown University indicates we might be already poised to take it up a notch.

Researchers at Brown University have developed wireless micro-implants that are supposed to act as a network of neural sensors and stimulators. Named as neurograins, this network will essentially generate data from the neurons present in your brain for the purpose of transmitting it to an external communication hub. The collected data will then be used to bolster functionality of the brain-computer interfaces, giving them a better shot at becoming well-equipped to handle different conditions.

Over the recent past, the usefulness of brain-computer interfaces has become more and more evident, but the challenges that come with this technology have kept its progression somewhat limited. For instance, the code of creating sensors that offer both efficiency and safety while monitoring the brain is still not really cracked. Furthermore, the complexity of our brain is just too much for an exclusive or a handful of sensors to measure properly. The palpability of these issues makes Brown University’s development all the more important, as their take of miniaturizing the sensors to accommodate a larger number promises to gauge brain activity at an unprecedented scale. So far, the team has tested this technology on rodents, with results mainly turning out to be encouraging. Interestingly, the stimulant capabilities of these micro-implants was also on full display during these trials, giving a hope to grow into a defining technology for modifying or restoring brain function in the future.

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