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Neurotechnology: A Giving Smarter Guide

When most people think about advances in medicine, drug development is the first thing that comes to mind. However, technology and devices are proving to be valuable options for treating intractable illnesses. Technological solutions in the field of neurology are exploding because they hold the potential to specifically target the biology of illness in ways that drugs cannot.

Neurotechnology is broadly understood as any technology designed to improve and repair nervous system function, as well as to enable researchers and clinicians to visualize the brain. Examples of neurotech in popular culture include Elon Musk’s announcement of a brain-machine interface and the brain scanner that Stephen Hawking used to speak, but dozens of other devices are in use today. Neurotech devices help with pain relief, provide physicians with insight into brain function, and stimulate the brain to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Although this rapidly changing technology class offers enormous promise for people living with a broad range of diseases, navigating investments in neurotechnology is complex. Success depends on biology, engineering, device regulation, and macro trends in the device market. This report, funded by BrightFocus Foundation breaks down the landscape and explores potential applications, opportunities, and barriers to help guide philanthropy’s pivotal role in moving the field forward.