Erasmus MC builds data-driven hospital of the future with SAS and Microsoft

SAS and Microsoft have partnered with Erasmus MC – the leading university medical center in the Netherlands – to develop data-driven innovation aimed to improve healthcare. With this collaboration, the three parties will develop, implement, and monitor data-driven applications across the entire hospital to bridge the gap from innovation to implementation.

In the face of rising demand for healthcare and critical workforce shortages, Erasmus MC will apply the value derived from data to improve patient care and capacity and optimize the use of operating rooms, intensive care units, and bed capacity.

Predicting patient duration with machine learning

Erasmus MC has taken the first steps toward building the hospital of the future with the completion of three successful projects. In one project, Erasmus MC, in collaboration with SAS, developed an AI algorithm to predict whether patients should remain in the hospital after oncological surgery or could be safely dismissed. The deployment of the AI model increased patient safety and allowed for more efficient use of bed capacity.

“With the support of technology, we hope that our nurses and doctors will be able to continue to provide high-quality care, but have even more time for patients and their families due to the reduced administration burden and better monitoring,” said Dr. Diederik Gommers, department head of Intensive Care at Erasmus MC.

Datahub boosts collaboration

During the development and implementation of the AI algorithm, the importance of connecting the IT department, data engineers, data scientists, doctors and nurses became clear. Erasmus MC established the Datahub to bring together disciplines from across the hospital to collaborate on AI model development, provide technical support for implementation, and help with data innovation issues. “Technology from SAS and Microsoft is an important element in the foundation of this hub,” said Dr. Michel van Genderen, internist-intensivist and initiator of the Datahub.

"Data is the fuel for analytics. SAS is proud to contribute to the Datahub by establishing trustworthy data streams from which Erasmus MC can make decisions that improve patient care and operational planning. This data, combined with analytic solutions, provides clinicians and data scientists at Erasmus MC with capabilities to design and implement innovative projects for the benefit of all,” said Antonie Berkel, Account Executive Healthcare at SAS.

Systemwide support for partnership

“Together with technology partners SAS and Microsoft, Erasmus MC wants to unlock more and more value from data. Using this technology, we can make a very structured transition from retrospective to prospective use of data,” said Simon Vermeer, CIO of Erasmus MC. “The emphasis here is not only on the initial development, but especially on maintaining and managing algorithms. This is necessary for the incorporation into patient care and subsequent upscaling. With this collaboration, we support Erasmus MC staff in their daily work and patient care becomes better and safer. As far as I am concerned, this is another step in our ambition as a technical UMC.”

Robert Veen, program manager at Erasmus MC, added, “The challenge is no longer to prove the usability of AI in pilots, but to develop the competencies to investigate systematically and in a multidisciplinary way for which clinical issues a data-driven approach is successful. Technology should help to ensure that new insights can be applied safely and validated in the care process as quickly as possible.”

“We see data playing an increasingly important role in delivering value-driven healthcare. Through the collaboration between Erasmus MC, SAS and Microsoft, we are creating an ecosystem that allows us to actually collaborate on extracting value from technology. In this case, that means implementing technology all the way to the bedside so that staff and patients benefit,” said Joost Huiskens, responsible for academic hospitals at Microsoft Netherlands.

About Erasmus MC

Erasmus MC is the leading University Medical Center in the Netherlands. It is committed to a healthy population. More than 16,000 employees are committed daily to providing excellent care through international pioneering research and education. They increase knowledge about diseases and health and combine the latest scientific insights with practical and preventive action, so that patients benefit optimally, and healthy people can stay fit. Improving visibility and remaining at the forefront of complex, innovative and critical care by collaborating with others are important ambitions of Erasmus MC.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft's mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. In the Netherlands, Microsoft has been active for more than 36 years. Microsoft works closely together with large and small businesses, the public sector and consumers to help them implement Microsoft technology in this digital age. Both to support business growth and to contribute to Dutch society.

About SAS

SAS is a global leader in data and AI. With SAS software and industry-specific solutions, organizations transform data into trusted decisions. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

Editorial contacts:

SAS and Microsoft have partnered with Erasmus MC – the leading university medical center in the Netherlands – to develop data-driven innovation aimed to improve healthcare.