top of page

BackTable / VI / Article

Aortic Injury: AI Advancements & Future Outlook

Author Caleb Solivio covers Aortic Injury: AI Advancements & Future Outlook on BackTable VI

Caleb Solivio • Jul 23, 2023 • 32 hits

Whether it’s ‘time is brain’ or ‘time is tissue’, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to emergent conditions such as aortic injuries can already be lifesaving. But outside of its use in the individual patient lies a broad spectrum with potentially limitless applications. From sorting through millions of data points to identify high-risk individuals with genetic aortopathies to improvements in robotic surgery through machine learning, Dr. Ben Starnes, vascular surgeon at the University of Washington (UW), explores what more AI can do to advance aortic care. And while some of these ideas may seem far-fetched now, Dr. Starnes informs us that these advancements may be closer than we think. This article features transcripts from the BackTable Podcast. We’ve provided the highlight reel here, and you can listen to the full podcast below.

The Backtable Brief

• By using pattern recognition and machine learning, AI platforms, such as Viz.AI, can help in the diagnosis and treatment planning of aortic injuries. For example, Viz.AI can recognize the aortic injury on imaging and calculate measurements for endografts.

• AI can enable more efficient coordination of care teams, and further, more rapid treatment of aortic injuries which can reduce hospital stay and need for additional interventions.

• In robotic surgery, companies like Centerline Biomedical are working towards integrating robotics and AI to improve the safety and efficacy of surgical procedures. Use of AI for the improvement of robotic surgery can also reduce radiation exposure for surgical teams.

• AI's application in genetics can potentially identify genetic aortopathies, paving the way for early intervention and improved patient outcomes.

Aortic Injury: AI Advancements & Future Outlook

Table of Contents

(1) AI Features & Advancements in Aortic Injuries

(2) The Future of AI in Aortic Injuries

AI Features & Advancements in Aortic Injuries

Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, AI platforms such as Viz.AI are transforming how clinicians approach aortic injuries. They provide a highly efficient pattern recognition system that is capable of diagnosing conditions, assisting with treatment planning, and even calculating sizes for endografts. Beyond image analysis, these platforms are also enabling streamlined, HIPAA-compliant communication among care teams. This is crucial in coordinating rapid response to conditions like ruptured AAA where expedited treatment can significantly reduce patient hospital stay and associated costs. Thus, the integration of AI to aortic injury treatment may define a new standard for an 'aortic response team'.

[Dr. Sabeen Dhand]
Does the software calculate the sizes and everything for you? For example, the neck, like we talked about, you just said, the neck of the aorta below the renals, from the renals to the bifurcation, is it doing that all for you?

[Dr. Ben Starnes]
We haven't relied on it for that, but there's no reason that it can't. This is what we're talking about in terms of artificial intelligence. We've got machine learning. It's interesting because I didn't know much about this until about five or six years ago when I had an orthopedic surgeon who was sitting in a boardroom with me at a council meeting. He was going through all of these images. He was basically teaching the computer to identify fractures and patterns of fractures. That's all that machine learning is. You're just teaching a computer to recognize patterns. Pattern recognition. That's exactly what Viz.AI can do for us. It's going to be able to size for the endograft. It'll be able to not only tell you the diagnosis but also help you in your planning.

[Dr. Sabeen Dhand]
Definitely. Then in addition to images, we touched on communication. Before you're using calls and text messages. On Viz, at least on for stroke, it has a very nice text messaging platform, which can be done to your vascular team, to anyone else, and it's all HIPAA compliant. We have a HIPAA-compliant text messaging software at our hospital. It's called Vocera. I feel it's made by third graders. It's clunky, it's slow, and the UI is so terrible. One thing I think that people are realizing is that UI is very important. Being user-friendly and being smooth is great.

[Dr. Ben Starnes]
I would also say that hospital systems don't realize the savings that would be incurred by having patients be able to be treated in a more rapid fashion because if the patient's continuing to bleed for an hour and a half into their abdomen from a Ruptured AAA, that's going to mean they need more blood transfusions and they're going to be in the hospital longer. We know that. We know that if we can get a patient in the OR quicker, that their length of stay is going to be decreased by 50% and that matters to hospital systems.

[Dr. Sabeen Dhand]
That's a huge point. What other services do you see? Say we call it like an aortic response team. Who else would be on this team, on this platform?

[Dr. Ben Starnes]
Well, it's not only the residents and fellows but it's the nursing staff in the operating room. Your circulating nurse can be notified in advance so that the room can start to get set up. The scrub techs and then the vascular surgery team and then the ICU team that's going to be taking care of the patient afterwards.

[Dr. Sabeen Dhand]
Yes, exactly. Again, you're not notifying the ICU team at the very end. They're aware of it, everything's ready. There's just so much more streamlining that's going on with this.

Listen to the Full Podcast

How Can AI Help with Acute Aortic Emergencies? with Dr. Ben Starnes on the BackTable VI Podcast)
Ep 271 How Can AI Help with Acute Aortic Emergencies? with Dr. Ben Starnes
00:00 / 01:04

Earn CME

BackTable CMEfy button

Stay Up To Date



Sign Up:

The Future of AI in Aortic Injuries

The application of artificial intelligence (AI) in aortic care is both extensive and transformative. While the current focus is on AI's utility in imaging, its role in advancing robotic surgery is paramount. Platforms like Centerline Biomedical are incorporating robotics to reduce radiation exposure to the surgical team. More intriguingly, the next frontier for AI could be the genetics realm, specifically in the identification of genetic aortopathies. With the capacity to sift through billions of data points in individual genetic codes, AI could soon be identifying patients at risk of developing aortic aneurysms or dissections even before symptoms manifest. This forward-looking perspective on AI's role underscores its omnipresence in our lives and its potential to drive improved outcomes in aortic care.

[Dr. Sabeen Dhand]
It's funny. What do you see as a future of these platforms? We touched base upon a couple of things, but do you think aside from measurements and all that, will you think it'll determine approach or device recommendations, things like that?

[Dr. Ben Starnes]
No, I think like you said, we're in 2022, soon to be 2023 right now. We've talked mostly about the power that artificial intelligence gives us in terms of imaging. What I would say is that AI is integral to robotics and robotic surgery, machine learning with robotics for motion and manipulation. AI is already heavily used in robotics. I think that's the future because we're seeing a lot of robotic surgery. I know my good friend Matt Eagleton is working with a company called Centerline Biomedical, which is using robotics to be able to reduce the radiation exposure to providers and to the surgical team by being able to operate remotely and stay away from the radiation field. I also think that a future for AI is in genetics and being able to go through the genetic, the billions of data points that come out of the genetic code for any individual human and to identify those patients with connective tissue disorders that are young and that have not yet developed an aneurysm or a dissection, but are at risk of developing that. So genetic aortopathies will be identified by AI in the future, and that's just 5 to 10 years away from now.

[Dr. Sabeen Dhand]
Yes, totally. We live in a cool, I mean 2030, we'll see what we'll be talking about then. It's going to be--

[Dr. Ben Starnes]
It's exciting.

[Dr. Sabeen Dhand]
It's exciting, especially if you just compare to what we were doing in 1990 and what we're doing now. Just imagine 10, 20 years from now. Well, Ben that was really intriguing and a lot of information. Anything else you want to comment on regarding aortic disease in general or AI or anything else you want our listeners to know?

[Dr. Ben Starnes]
All I would say to our listeners today is that we're already using AI on a daily basis thousands of times. You may not realize it, but it is the future. We have to teach our machines and our technology to help intelligently coordinate care for our patients.

[Dr. Sabeen Dhand]
Absolutely. Everything is patients first. We want to make everything better and better outcomes. That's what our goal is and technology is obviously the way to do that. Ben, thanks again. Really appreciate you coming on the show, giving your perspective and from all your experience of aortic management. Thank you again.

Podcast Contributors

Dr. Ben Starnes discusses How Can AI Help with Acute Aortic Emergencies? on the BackTable 271 Podcast

Dr. Ben Starnes

Dr. Benjamin Starnes is a vascular surgeon at Harborview Medical Center, a Professor of Vascular Surgery, the Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery, and Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at UW School of Medicine.

Dr. Sabeen Dhand discusses How Can AI Help with Acute Aortic Emergencies? on the BackTable 271 Podcast

Dr. Sabeen Dhand

Dr. Sabeen Dhand is a practicing interventional radiologist with PIH Health in Los Angeles.

Cite This Podcast

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, December 12). Ep. 271 – How Can AI Help with Acute Aortic Emergencies? [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.



How Can AI Help with Acute Aortic Emergencies? with Dr. Ben Starnes on the BackTable VI Podcast)


AI for Aortic Injury: Emergent vs Elective Care

AI for Aortic Injury: Emergent vs Elective Care


Aortic Dissection Condition Overview

Get in touch!

We want to hear from you. Let us know if you’re interested in partnering with BackTable as a Podcast guest, a sponsor, or as a member of the BackTable Team.

Select which show(s) you would like to subscribe to:

Thanks! Message sent.

bottom of page