Neuroscience is advancing rapidly. Nobody's questioning that. Brain-computer interfaces, optogenetics, transcranial magnetic stimulation—there's a lot of good stuff out there.
With respect to applications, a gaggle of neurotechnology startups are already starting to chip away at some curious corners of the medical technology space. But is the market ready? And more importantly, is the science ready? This piece gives us some relatively concrete projections on market readiness and financial/scientific feasibility for a handful of emerging technologies.
I'm a bit more conservative than the authors, though. Mainstream optogenetic implants in humans by 2026? Even if neuroscience does manage to wrangle $4.5 billion in extra funding over the next twelve years, I don't see this happening.
Optogenetic implants in humans: The combination of genetic and optical methods to control specific events in targeted cells of living tissue, even within freely moving mammals and other animals, with the temporal precision (millisecond timescale) needed to keep pace with functioning intact biological systems. Scientifically viable in 2021; mainstream and financially viable in 2026.