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BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #271

How Can AI Help with Acute Aortic Emergencies?

with Dr. Ben Starnes

In this episode, host Dr. Sabeen Dhand interviews vascular surgeon Dr. Benjamin Starnes about artificial intelligence in aortic intervention, from aneurysm detection to procedural planning and coordination of aortic aneurysm surveillance.

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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

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

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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.

Synopsis

Dr. Starnes is a vascular surgeon at the University of Washington. He is one of the first adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) in aortic intervention. He uses Viz.ai to help coordinate care for aortic dissections and ruptured aortic aneurysms. He began to implement this due to frustration with an outdated workflow. He serves a large patient population in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. With different hospital systems and antiquated methods of communication, he realized it was very inefficient to evaluate a patient from some of these locations, and then have them transferred to Seattle for surgical repair.

Dr. Starnes overviews the outdated workflow that’s prevalent in aortic emergency care. If there is a ruptured aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, he would first get a call from an ER physician who ordered the imaging. The transfer center wouild be contacted, and then he had to find a desktop to view images from the outside facility. If there was no way to view the images due to incompatible PACS, he had to use a screenshot of an image sent by a provider at that hospital. After reviewing the imaging, he would decide whether to accept the transfer. If a patient is transferred, he would do the procedure and then hand off the patient to the ICU team, who was rarely (never) aware of this transfer until the patient arrived in their unit.

After starting to use Viz.ai, this process has been streamlined. Dr. Starnes modeled the AI platform he uses for aortic emergencies in a similar way that AI stroke alert platforms already function. He now gets an alert on his phone, he is able to view good-quality images on his phone wherever he is, decide on the next steps, and communicate with members of the team in a HIPAA-compliant fashion all via the user-friendly interface. He uses AI software to detect ruptures and dissections and reports that it is very accurate. Dr. Starnes and colleagues at the University of Washington do over 350 aortic cases per year. The implementation of AI has helped them work more efficiently and has improved patient outcomes by cutting down the time from diagnosis to intervention. He hopes that machines can be trained to measure the aneurysm size for stent graft selection and manage elective aortas by integrating surveillance, follow-up, and elective repair. He also is very hopeful that AI will be able to identify many genetic aortopathies due to the integration of genetics and AI.

Resources

Transcript Preview

[Dr. Ben Starnes]
Sabeen, that's the scary part to me is that, right now the way the system is without artificial intelligence, it's a clunky outdated system where we don't have any idea who's out there that has an aneurysm or dissection that is not symptomatic. We have no idea, and we rely on the primary care providers to put in the referral to us where we can actually evaluate the images. I think by having those patients be identified across a vast, incredibly enormous system or healthcare system, we can be proactive about providing life-saving treatments to patients who don't even know that they have an aneurysm or may have been lost to follow up.

Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com 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.

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