Applying Connectomics to Neurosurgery: Michael Sughrue, MD

The founder and chief medical officer of Omniscient Neurotechnology provided insight on the successes using connectomics, including the FDA approval of Quicktome, a digital brain mapping platform. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"If you use things like artificial intelligence, you can oftentimes pull this out and say ‘well, this is the cause of this symptom’ or ‘this is the cause of this problem.’ What this mean is that we can start to see mental illness, and when we see it, we can treat it. You can take an extraordinarily complex problem that humans have struggled with since the beginning of time, and make it fairly understandable with intelligence augmentation."

As clinicians gain a better understanding of the brain, they’re able to locate and treat patients’ conditions with more precision. Omniscient Neurotechnology is a company that uses connectomics, a big data approach to constructing and analyzing a computer-generated map of the brain’s functional and structural connections. In July 2021, the FDA awarded 510(k) clearance for Omniscient’s Quicktome, a digital brain mapping platform that allows neurosurgeons to visualize and understand a patient’s brain networks prior to performing brain surgery.

Quicktome incorporates connectomics and helps locate certain pathways that may be directly linked to complex functions such as language, movement, and cognition. Additionally, this planning software analyzes millions of data points derived from a patients MRI and stores them on a computer cloud, making it easily accessible for neurosurgeons and data scientists. Michael Sughrue, MD, chief medical officer and cofounder of Omniscient, believes the community needs to start leveraging these tools, as well as become more familiar with the use of artificial intelligence and the capabilities it has.

In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Sughrue discussed how connectomics can be applied, as well as how Quicktome can revolutionize neurosurgery going forward. He also spoke on the next steps in fully committing to new technology like this and “moving the goalposts” in how we view and treat patients with mental illness.