Mind-reading tech will help community stand again

MAIC is hoping to improve the quality of life for more than 12,000 Australian’s who currently live with some form of serious spinal cord injury. Thanks to the world-leading Queensland research project BioSpine, which plans to use mind-reading technology to help paralysed people stand once again.

MAIC research identified road crashes are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injury in Australia that cost the Australian healthcare system and society an estimated $2 billion per year.

Queensland’s Insurance Commissioner, Neil Singleton is proud MAIC is taking a proactive step to support innovation in the recovery sector for those impacted by road trauma.

“MAIC is committed to supporting world-leading research projects to boost rehabilitation and the quality of life for Queenslanders impacted by road crash injuries,” Mr Singleton said.

“Our support for BioSpine is helping bring together some of the best experts, such as Dr Dinesh Palipana to explore some of the most promising advances in human history for spinal cord injury.”

BioSpine is a Queensland-based research project at Griffith University and is spearheaded by Dr Claudio Pizzolato and the Sunshine State’s current Australian of the Year Dr Dinesh Palipana.

During medical school, Dr Palipana was involved in a car accident causing a spinal cord injury and quadriplegia, but in true fighting spirit, he became Queensland’s first quadriplegic medical graduate and intern as well as a key advocate in disability advancement.

“BioSpine brings together some of the most promising bits of spinal research in the world,” Dr Palipana said.

“People are sometimes too afraid to talk about a potential cure to reverse spinal cord injury or paralysis, but MAIC’s funding of our BioSpine project has helped us get the expertise and world-leading technology to make this a reality for people – to be able to stand again.”

The ground-breaking BioSpine research project is harnessing the power of the latest technological advancements in artificial intelligence to develop a custom headset with bespoke electrodes that can read brainwaves.

“I have trained myself to think about moving different parts of my paralysed body and the helmet and its strategically placed electrodes read my thoughts and translate them into either a virtual reality environment or electrical stimulation,” Dr Palipana said.

Through this exciting technology, anyone wearing the BioSpine technology has the potential to increase motor and sensory capabilities below the site of an injury, which could mean the return of some function and mobility in lower limbs.

“One of the last things I did before my accident was to give my mum a hug. With the developments of BioSpine, I hope that I will again soon be able to stand and hug my mother again,” Dr Palipana said.

MAIC has a legislative function to provide funds for research, infrastructure and education to improve the rehabilitation of people injured in motor vehicle crashes. These enhancements help to support an effective and affordable CTP insurance scheme and improve the lives of people who have been injured.

Learn more about our research projects.

Last modified 21 July 2021


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