Stanford Neurosurgical
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Laboratory

The safety and efficacy of surgery is our number one priority. As we enter the era of big data, the onus is upon us to utilize what we have learned to improve medical care for future generations. Using novel, cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, our goal is to mine through millions of patient records to predict outcomes following all types of surgery. Imagine a virtual algorithm, that is capable of providing a true estimate of surgical risk, outcome, and efficacy – based specifically on your characteristics. This is the very foundation of precision medicine, and will empower physicians to deliver outstanding care.


The focus of my laboratory is to utilize precision medicine techniques to improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurologic conditions. From traumatic brain injury to spinal scoliosis, the ability to capture detailed data regarding clinical symptoms and treatment outcomes has empowered us to do better for patients. Utilize data to do better for patients, that’s what we do.

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and, by courtesy, of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center


  • A Comparative Analysis of Patients Undergoing Fusion for Adult Cervical Deformity by Approach Type GLOBAL SPINE JOURNAL Varshneya, K., Medress, Z. A., Stienen, M. N., Nathan, J., Ho, A., Pendharkar, A. V., Loo, S., Aikin, J., Li, G., Desai, A., Ratliff, J. K., Veeravagu, A. 2020
  • Objective activity tracking in spine surgery: a prospective feasibility study with a low-cost consumer grade wearable accelerometer. Scientific reports Stienen, M. N., Rezaii, P. G., Ho, A. L., Veeravagu, A., Zygourakis, C. C., Tomkins-Lane, C., Park, J., Ratliff, J. K., Desai, A. M. 2020; 10 (1): 4939


    Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are commonly used to estimate disability of patients with spinal degenerative disease. Emerging technological advances present an opportunity to provide objective measurements of activity. In a prospective, observational study we utilized a low-cost consumer grade wearable accelerometer (LCA) to determine patient activity (steps per day) preoperatively (baseline) and up to one year (Y1) after cervical and lumbar spine surgery. We studied 30 patients (46.7% male; mean age 57 years; 70% Caucasian) with a baseline activity level of 5624 steps per day. The activity level decreased by 71% in the 1st postoperative week (p<0.001) and remained 37% lower in the 2nd (p<0.001) and 23% lower in the 4th week (p=0.015). At no time point until Y1 did patients increase their activity level, compared to baseline. Activity was greater in patients with cervical, as compared to patients with lumbar spine disease. Age, sex, ethnic group, anesthesia risk score and fusion were variables associated with activity. There was no correlation between activity and PROMs, but a strong correlation with depression. Determining activity using LCAs provides real-time and longitudinal information about patient mobility and return of function. Recovery took place over the first eight postoperative weeks, with subtle improvement afterwards.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-61893-4

    View details for PubMedID 32188895

  • Postoperative Complication Burden, Revision Risk, and Health Care Use in Obese Patients Undergoing Primary Adult Thoracolumbar Deformity Surgery GLOBAL SPINE JOURNAL Varshneya, K., Pangal, D. J., Stienen, M. N., Ho, A. L., Fatemi, P., Medress, Z. A., Herrick, D. B., Desai, A., Ratliff, J. K., Veeravagu, A. 2020
  • Lumboperitoneal and Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Demonstrate Comparable Failure and Complication Rates NEUROSURGERY Azad, T. D., Zhang, Y., Varshneya, K., Veeravagu, A., Ratliff, J. K., Li, G. 2020; 86 (2): 272–80
  • Evaluating Shunt Survival Following Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting with and without Stereotactic Navigation in Previously Shunt-Naïve Patients. World neurosurgery Jin, M. C., Wu, A., Azad, T. D., Feng, A., Prolo, L. M., Veeravagu, A., Grant, G. A., Ratliff, J., Li, G. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.01.138

    View details for PubMedID 31996335

Our Team

The Stanford Neurosurgical Ariticial Intelligence and Machine Learning Laboratory is led by Dr. Anand Veeravagu, an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, by courtesy, and Director of Minimally Invasive NeuroSpine Surgery at Stanford. Our laboratory team includes neurosurgery residents, clinical instructors, and medical students. 

We're Hiring!

We are currently looking for post-doctoral fellows looking to build their career in health policy research with specific attention to neurologic diseases. To apply, please contact us by email: