VIDEO: Man paralyzed in Outer Banks moves hand with his own thoughts

Posted at 10:13 AM, Jul 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-10 13:10:33-04

Four years ago, Ian Burkhart dove into the Atlantic Ocean in the Outer Banks and broke his neck, paralyzing his body from the elbows down.

On June 23rd, Ian was able to move his paralyzed right hand, thanks to an innovative chip implanted in his brain.

According to Mashable, Burkhart was the first patient to volunteer for a clinical trial testing the technology at Ohio State University.

The technology, called Neurobridge, is developed by researchers with medical nonprofit group Battelle. It interprets brain signals as a way to “bypass” the duties of the spinal cord. So, in theory (and now reality), paralyzed patients would be able to move their limbs just by thinking about it.

The chip, which is about the size of a contact lens, was embedded in Burkhart’s brain several months ago.

The chip transmits brain waves through a cable connected to a computer. The computer then decodes the signals and transmits them to a sleeve of electrodes wrapped around Burkhart’s arm that stimulates the muscles and triggers the movements.