Artificial intelligence used in medical procedure to help paralyzed man walk


clock: Paralyzed man walks again thanks to AI advances

A man who was partially paralyzed in a motorcycle accident more than 10 years ago has started walking again after undergoing artificial intelligence surgery.

Gert Jan Oskam, 40, said he dreamed of walking again after an accident in 2011 left him paralyzed from the waist down.

“I tried everything at home,” Oskamu told ABC News. “I tried to stand up and take a step, but it wasn’t enough.”

It was last year that Oskamm experienced a breakthrough in collaboration with Swiss researchers.

In 2022, researchers at Lausanne University Hospital surgically inserted an electronic implant into the area of ‚Äč‚ÄčOscam’s brain and spinal cord that controls movement.

EPFL/Jimmy Lavia

Gert Jan Oskam, 40, was able to walk after being paralyzed by using a “wireless interface” between his brain and spinal cord.

Researchers then enlisted the help of AI to build a so-called “digital bridge” between his brain and spine, avoiding his injury and essentially turning his thoughts into action.

“Movement intentions are decoded in real time from brain recordings thanks to algorithms based on adaptive artificial intelligence techniques,” said one of the researchers, Guillaume Charvet, in a statement. It has become possible to move around by

Description: Man partially paralyzed in bicycle accident, walks a year later

Oskamu said he can now think about movement and his body follows the idea.

“When you think about moving your leg, that stimulus gives you a pulse to take a step,” Oscam said, adding that even with the sensor turned off, he could still walk with the help of crutches. .

EPFL/Jimmy Lavia

Gert Jan Oskam, 40, was able to walk after being paralyzed by using a “wireless interface” between his brain and spinal cord.

This type of AI has been used in medicine for decades, but researchers say Oskamm’s case is the first successful method for this kind of artificial intelligence.

Read more: How artificial intelligence is being used to detect breast cancer

The researchers say they achieved this breakthrough by using AI as a thought decoder that processes what neurons in brain regions are trying to do and sends that signal down to the spine.

Details of the work were published Wednesday in the medical journal Nature.

EPFL/Jimmy Lavia

Gert Jan Oskam, 40, was able to walk after being paralyzed by using a “wireless interface” between his brain and spinal cord.

The researchers acknowledged that the technology that enabled Oskamu to walk is still in its infancy. Oscam was the first human to undergo this procedure.

The technology is not widely available to patients, but the researchers said their mission was to “bring this technology to other people.”



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