Before recent years, meaningful research of the human brain had been restricted to scientists and doctors. Main reasons for this were high entry costs, lack of access to equipment, and limited education on how to get started. Historically, EEG sensors that detect electrical activity in your brain, for example, cost at least $30,000 alone.
Now, an affordable solution has emerged and it’s called OpenBCI. OpenBCI is an open source brain computer interface that provides hardware and software to anyone who would like to experiment with the technology.
By making technology available to the masses and allowing makers and innovators who are not extremely focused on specific areas like brain research, we are able to push forward the technology and grow it so we can learn more about the human brain and help contribute to the medical industry. The vision and hope is to be able to diagnose diseases faster than before, identify patterns in the human brain and how it works, and, as Alex Castillo says, “tap into this ocean of energy and data from our own bodies”.
Tools, technology, and equipment that have been created with OpenBCI are already being used in the medical field today. One story tells of how a doctor used the sensors around the eyes of a surgery patient so he could determine during the surgery whether or not what he was doing was affecting the nerves. The electric signals allowed him to perform the surgery better.
We haven’t even begun to tap into the potential and groundbreaking medical shakeup that is about to happen with OpenBCI leading the charge. The emerging projects are set to disrupt the medical market in a good way that tinkering engineers may not even understand. Most engineers care about technology and making the world a better place versus how much money they can make selling large machines to hospitals. This altruistic view by itself changes the market dynamics in a positive way.