World Intellectual Property Organization Report on Assistive Technology

Communication, Scholarly Article

The 2021 World Intellectual Property Organization Technology Trends report outlines the current and future implications of assistive technologies crossing over into consumer markets, creating greater access and independence for persons with disabilities. Read WIPO Technology Trends 2021: Assistive Technology.

RESNA Assistive Technology Standards

Scholarly Article

RESNA stands for the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. RESNA is the premier organization for professionals who are dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of persons with disabilities. The RESNA Assistive Technology Standards Board (ATSB) coordinates the development of voluntary consensus standards in the United States and represents the needs and views of U.S. stakeholders in international standardization forums. The ATSB is the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for the development of international standards through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) pertaining to assistive technology and other products for persons with disabilities. Read more about RESNA's Assistive Technology Standards here

Visual Percepts Evoked with an Intracortical Microelectrode Array

Vision, Scholarly Article

Researchers in Spain created a visual prosthesis for end users who are blind to perceive shapes and letters. The team's end user collaborator, Berna Gomez, has experienced blindness for the last 16 years. The implanted visual prosthesis system utilizes the Utah electrode array, which is much smaller than a penny, to create electrical stimulation in Gomez's visual cortex. Read more in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.  

Mobilizing the Private Sector for Responsible Innovation in Neurotechnology

Scholarly Article

In this article published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the authors outline several key policy principles and practices for data governance and privacy within the context of neurotechnology. The discussions in the article are the result of policy deliberations started at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Read more here

Wireless BCI for Practical Home Use by End Users with Tetraplegia

Physical, Scholarly Article

In this article published by researchers at Brown University, the usually cumbersome cables necessary for implanted brain-computer interfaces (BCI) were replaced by wireless transmitters and maintained high-resolution recording and decoding of neural activity from two end users with paralysis. Wireless implanted BCI systems can replace older assistive solutions that formerly would restrict control and usage of the BCI, requiring the end user to be tethered to amplifiers and larger computers. Communication rates from the end users using the wireless BCI vs the cabled BCI were equivalent to such a degree that the wireless BCI would better enable persons with disabilities to become more mobile and independent in their daily lives. Learn more at IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

Brain-to-Text Communication via Attempted Handwriting

Physical, Scholarly Article

Researchers at Stanford University and an end user experiencing paralysis worked to achieve brain-to-text communication rates of 90 characters per minute with an accuracy rate of 94.1%. The end user's neural activity while attempting to handwrite letters was decoded into text to allow the end user to interact with a computer. The work highlights the brain's ability to maintain movement commands despite physical paralysis. Learn more from the journal Nature here.   

Robotic Arm Performance Drastically Improved With Tactile Feedback to End User With Tetraplegia

Physical, Scholarly Article

In this article, robotic neuroprostheses that utilize tactile feedback with the end user are more efficiently controlled by the end user, leading to more natural movements and drastically reduced attempts at grasping objects. The end user in this article experiences tetraplegia and was able to dramatically increase his task performance of grasping objects from an average of 20.9 seconds down to 10.2 seconds. Read more in the journal Science here

FDA Resource on Implanted Brain-Computer Interfaces

Physical, Scholarly Article

In this resource page, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) provides detailed PowerPoint slides that outline the process and types of information required when submitting Q-Submissions and Investigational Device Exemptions for implanted brain-computer interface (BCI) technology for end users that experience paralysis or amputation. This resource is published by the FDA in conjunction with its final guidance on implanted BCIs. Design, safety, effectiveness, and other aspects of the translation of BCI devices is provided in overview format, along with recommendations for non-clinical and clinical studies. The slides include contact information and advise communicating directly with the Division of Neuromodulation and Rehabilitation Devices should stakeholders have questions. The link to the FDA's slides can be found here.

Neuroprosthesis for Decoding Speech in a Paralyzed Person with Anarthria

Communication, Scholarly Article

Researchers successfully translated intended speech into sentences on a computer screen from the brain signals of a man who is paralyzed and is unable to speak. Dr. Edward Chang, a neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, led the team that developed the breakthrough in the latest of over a decade of work to help those with paralysis communicate even if they are unable to speak. The team was supported in part by Facebook Reality Labs and the National Institutes of Health, among others. Read more at The New England Journal of Medicine.

Implanted Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Devices - Non-clinical Testing and Clinical Considerations

Physical, Scholarly Article

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has released its final draft of recommendations for nonclinical testing and study design considerations for Investigational Device Exemptions (IDEs) feasibility and pivotal clinical studies for implanted Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) devices for patients with paralysis or amputation. Read the FDA's full announcement. ​​​​​​