Merging Human Brains with Artificial Intelligence

Elon Musk Unveils Newest Brain Implant Set to Accelerate Biohacking

By IGI Global on Aug 6, 2020

Editor Note: Understanding the importance of this timely topic and to ensure that research is made available to the wider academic community, IGI Global has made a sample of related articles and chapters complimentary to access. View the end of this article to freely access this critical research.


The cross between humans and robots is becoming closer to reality with billionaire entrepreneur and inventor, Elon Musk, announcing the latest technology to be produced by his company Neuralink. According to a recent Vox article, the new technology enables “flexible ‘threads’ that can be implanted into a brain and could one day allow you to control your smartphone or computer with just your thoughts.” Tested on rats and monkeys, the company hopes to be testing on humans by the end of next year; however, they are facing the uphill battle of getting the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for testing, as the testing requires drilling holes in the human skull.

If this technology is successful with humans, it could be a medical breakthrough and revolution, as it can improve the quality of a patient’s life when implemented with artificial intelligence to increase human cognitive and physical performance. Often noted as biohacking, this implementation can assist in restoring eyesight, hearing, and limb movements, as well as addressing brain diseases and chemical imbalances.

To assist in understanding this latest development in healthcare and robotics, Profs. Audace Manirabona, from the University of Burundi, Burundi, Lamia Chaari Fourati, from the University of Sfax, Tunisia, and and Saâdi Boudjit, from the University of Paris 13, France, outline the utilization of wireless body area networks and wearable medical devices’ strengths, limitations, and design challenges, in their article “Investigation on Healthcare Monitoring Systems: Innovative Services and Applications,” featured in the International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications (IJEHMC) (IGI Global). View the article below:

International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications (IJEHMC)
Profs. Joel J.P.C. Rodrigues (Federal University of Piauí (UFPI) and Teresina - Pi, Brazil; Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal)
Est 2010| Vols: 12 | ISSN: 1947-315X| EISSN:1947-3168

This publication focuses on theories, systems, methods, algorithms, and applications in healthcare, biomedicine, telemedicine, and medical communications. This journal acts as an interface between e-health and communication technologies and their contribution to medical fields. IJEHMC publishes high quality application papers, survey and tutorial papers, case studies, and short research notes reflecting global e-health technologies and medical communications contributing to the state-of-art advances in the fields....Learn More.

With the current trend in communication, networking and computing technologies coexist with people in a ubiquitous and pervasive way. The WBANs meet many needs for the market in a variety of innovating and interesting applications, it promises to revolutionize many domains such as ubiquitous healthcare applications (Jae-Myeong, et al. 2008; Huan-Bang, et al. 2008; Huan-Bang, et al. 2009; Dante, et al. 2010), military and aerospace (Tufail, et al. 2009), safety, interactive gaming, entertainment, animal managements and emergency (Jobs, et al. 2009). In the field of medical services (Gao, et al. 2008), the WBANs aim to facilitate health monitoring (Jobs, et al., 2009), medical care (Virone, G. et al.2006), and healthcare delivery in ambulances (Pomalaza-Rez, et al. 2007) and in emergency rooms (Otto, et al. 2006) and assistance to people with disabilities.

A WBAN is a collection of miniaturized wireless nodes deployed on or implanted in the body to supervise the human body functions and its environment. These nodes include sensors that sense physiological data and actuators that execute commands such as injection.

The sensors in turn can be categorized into wearable and implantable devices. Thus, the WBAN nodes for medical applications can be wearable (Pervez, et al. 2009) and/or just implants (Hung, et al. 2004). Wearable nodes are considered for both medical and non-medical applications; however, the WBAN implants are mainly considered for medical and healthcare applications. Wearable devices are those that can be used on a human body surface while implantable medical devices are those inserted inside human body. Non-medical applications include real-time audio/video streaming, data wave, stream delivery, etc.

A WBAN can include a large number of physiological sensors, which can be used as a bridge between the human body and a remote monitoring system or electronic systems such as household appliances, in order to generate all the information regarding the subject under observation and control. Nowadays, many kinds of sensors and actuators are already commercially available such as:

  • ECG (electrocardiogram) sensor is used for monitoring heart activity. In order to obtain an ECG signal, several electrodes are attached at specific sites on the skin (e.g., arms, and chest), and the potential differences between these electrodes are measured;
  • EEG (electroencephalography) sensor is used for monitoring brain electrical activity by attaching small electrodes to the body scalp at multiple locations. Then information on the brain’s electrical activities sensed by the electrodes is forwarded to an amplifier to produce a pattern of tracings.
  • EMG (electromyography) sensor used for monitoring muscle activity during contractions or at rest. Nerve conduction studies are often done while measuring the electrical activity in muscles. Since nerves control the muscles in the body by electrical signals (impulses) and these impulses make the muscles react in specific ways. Nerve and muscle disorders cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways.
  • Glucose sensor is an optical meter (glucometer) which is used to analyze the blood sample and gives a numerical glucose reading.
  • The blood pressure sensor is designed to measure systolic and diastolic human blood pressure.
  • Gyroscope and accelerometer for monitoring trunk position and movement: the accelerometer is used to recognize and monitor body posture, such as sitting, kneeling, crawling, laying and standing, walking and running. The gyroscope used for measuring or maintaining orientation, based on the principle of conservation of angular momentum. Gyroscopes can be used with accelerometers for physical movement monitoring.
  • Breathing sensor for monitoring respiration;
  • Infrared or diode-based sensors for monitoring temperature;
  • Pulse oximeter used for cardio-respiratory monitoring. It measures oxygen saturation;
  • Humidity and temperature sensors used for measuring the temperature of the human body and/or the humidity of the immediate environment around a person. An alarm signal can be issued if a certain threshold value is exceeded.
  • Gas sensor used to monitor oxygen concentration during human respiration.
  • Implantable Neural Stimulators that send electrical impulses into the brain or spinal cord to treat for instance Parkinson disease, intractable epilepsy and chronic pain. An example of such a device is given by Pravin, et al. (2012).

In Table 1, sensors and actuators that could be used for wearable BAN and those that could be used for BAN implants are specified. Table 2 highlights WBAN services and applications…

Interested in Reading the Rest of the Article? Access the Full Article Through IGI Global’s InfoSci-Demo Account, here.

Understanding that the latest research around e-health and technological medical advancements are of the utmost importance, the latest research covering neural implants, robotics, wireless body area networks, wearable medical devices, and more is found in the International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications (IJEHMC) (IGI Global), edited by Prof. Joel J.P.C. Rodrigues, from the Federal University of Piauí (UFPI), Teresina - Pi, Brazil; Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal.

This scholarly journal focuses on theories, systems, methods, algorithms, and applications in healthcare, biomedicine, telemedicine, and medical communications. This journal acts as an interface between e-health and communication technologies and their contribution to medical fields. IJEHMC publishes high quality application papers, survey and tutorial papers, case studies, and short research notes reflecting global e-health technologies and medical communications contributing to the state-of-art advances in the fields.

It is currently available in electronic format (EISN: 1947-3168) through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore at a 50% discount, and is featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci®-Journals database. Recommend this publication and the InfoSci-Journals database to your library to have access to this critical research, as well as thousands of other research resources, including the articles below, in the IGI Global InfoSci-Journals database.

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