While Elon Musk’s Neuralink expects to begin human trials in six months, a neurotech company unveiled a device that treats depression and is now in the skull of the first patient.
Inner Cosmos’s ‘digital pill’ includes two parts: An electrode that sits under the skin of the scalp and the ‘prescription pod’ that snaps onto the users’ hair to power the device.
The implant sends tiny electrical pulses to the brain region affected by depression – the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – once daily for 15 minutes.
And the external device does not need to be on the head when treatment is not being administered.
The trial patient from St Louise, Missouri, is scheduled to test Inner Cosmos innovation for one year, and the company has another human trial set to start next month.
Inner Cosmos has unveiled the first brain implant to treat depression. The digital pill is the smallest and least invasive technology to date – the implant is about the size of a penny
Implants to treat all alignments of the brain are making waves in the industry, as several companies are racing to get theirs to market first.
Musk’s Neuralink recently conducted a product demonstration that showed its chip in a monkey’s brain, allowing it to control a keyboard on a screen to type out complete sentences.
Synchron began human trials of its brain implant in July, which lets the wearer control a computer using thought alone.
The firm’s Stentrode brain implant, about the size of a paperclip, will be implanted in six New York and Pittsburgh patients with severe paralysis.
Stentrode will let patients control digital devices just by thinking and give them the ability to perform daily tasks, including texting, emailing and shopping online.
Research facilities are also developing brain chips.
Southmead Hospital in Bristol is believed to be the first in the world to implant a device to reverse symptoms of Parkinson’s.
However, Inner cosmos digital pill is the smallest and least invasive technology to date – the implant is about the size of a penny.
And the company likens the external pod to charging an Apple Watch.
The surgery for the implant takes 30 minutes in an outpatient facility.
Inner Cosmos was founded by entrepreneur Meron Gribetz, who was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder as a child.
‘Our mission is to create a world that restores humanity’s cognitive power by rebalancing the human mind,’ said Gribetz.
‘The world is in a state of severe disorder, leading to a disordered cognition
‘The effects are being felt by millions, leading to surging levels of depression.
‘We believe our approach can allay the lives of those suffering from depression, and eventually scale to other cognitive disorders.’
The goal of Inner Cosmos is to move away from prescription drugs and toward a more ‘effective treatment.’
‘Depression, attention and anxiety, which we treat. Just to underscore this point, there’s 140 million Americans every year that use attention or depression drugs, that’s more users than have iPhones,’ Gribetz said in a 2022 presentation.
Inner Cosmos’s ‘digital pill’ includes two parts: An electrode that sits under the skin of the scalp and the ‘prescription pod’ that snaps onto the users’ hair to power the device
The implant sends pulses to the brain region affected by depression – the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – once a day for 15 minutes. And the external device does not need to be on the head when treatment is not being administered
Inner Cosmos digital pill is powered by a smartphone app, which also displays mood and depression graphs that can be shared with a physician.
Gribetz said this is the first time doctors will have access to this type of data, ‘saving the healthcare industry billions for misdiagnosis of severe suicidal depression,’ he said.
‘[The implant] is 10 times smaller than anything else that you’ve heard of globally, on the brain chips BCI [brain computer interface] market, and we’re really excited,’ said Gribetz. ‘It took us six years to build this thing.’
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