Paralysed Man Becomes the First to Tweet a Message Using His Mind

A paralysed man in Australia has become the first person to tweet a message via direct thought thanks to a tiny brain implant the size of a paperclip.

Philip O’Keefe, 62, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which has left him unable to move his upper limbs, tweeted: ‘No need for keystrokes or voices. I created this tweet just by thinking it.’ #helloworldbci

He was diagnosed with ALS, a form of Motor Neurone Disease, in 2015, and successfully turned his direct thought to text using the Stentrode brain computer interface (BCI) on December 23.

The interface, created by California-based Synchron – a neurovascular bioelectronics medicine company – allows patients to carry out tasks on a computer just by using their mind.

Mr O’Keefe said: ‘When I first heard about this technology, I knew how much independence it could give back to me.

‘The system is astonishing, it’s like learning to ride a bike – it takes practice, but once you’re rolling, it becomes natural.

‘Now, I just think about where on the computer I want to click, and I can email, bank, shop, and now message the world via Twitter.’

To share the news, he took over the Twitter handle of Synchron CEO, Thomas Oxley, using the hashtag #HelloWorldBCI.

Mr O’Keefe’s goal was to share his experience of regaining independence with the world and offer inspiration for the future.

‘My hope is that I’m paving the way for people to tweet through thoughts,’ was his closing statement.

He received the brain computer interface in April 2020 following progressive paralysis caused by ALS which left him unable to engage in work-related or other independent activities.

To share the news, he took over the Twitter handle of Synchron CEO, Thomas Oxley, using the hashtag #HelloWorldBCI.

Mr O’Keefe’s goal was to share his experience of regaining independence with the world and offer inspiration for the future.

‘My hope is that I’m paving the way for people to tweet through thoughts,’ was his closing statement.

He received the brain computer interface in April 2020 following progressive paralysis caused by ALS which left him unable to engage in work-related or other independent activities.

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