Policlinico Gemelli: SAS analytics to fight the Covid-19 emergency

Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to support Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS to predict the demand for beds in intensive care, the medical complications of coronavirus patients and seek a long-term response to the pandemic

Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS uses software solutions from SAS, the leading company in analytics, to prepare for and respond to the Covid-19 health emergency. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has put even top-level hospitals such as the Policlinico Gemelli in Rome under great pressure, imposing the need to offer adequate responses in a very short time. 

The coordination of medical resources within a compressed timescale was made possible through partnership with SAS to inform data-driven decisions that make the difference in implementing the best choices for the patients affected by the epidemic.

Using the full potential of SAS analytics, the Information Systems of Policlinico Gemelli were able to respond to urgent requests for information from the services and departments involved in the Covid-19 emergency: the emergency/urgency sector to try to predict in the short term the impact of the number of cases; the inpatient and intensive care units to analyze the diagnostic/therapeutic information collected from the medical records; the management control for the reporting and optimal allocation of resources involved on Covid-19 cases; the research, to prepare the computational analysis tools with AI algorithms to look for a long term response to the pandemic.

According to Paolo Sergi, Director of Information Systems at Gemelli: "With new insights provided by SAS analytics, Policlinico Gemelli has tried to better plan the management of resources in the short and medium term. Moving forward, we are collaborating on project Generator - Info Science Center of Gemelli to improve our overall response to the disease. In this project, we are trying to predict medical complications in infected patients and predict the length of stay in hospital. With additional insights, we can provide personalized paths for each patient as they recover from COVID-19. Many important clinical data relating to Covid-19 patients are not structured but, thanks to text mining techniques available in SAS solutions, the extraction of information can be automated and fast".

The integration between advanced management of clinical and laboratory data and analytical functions orientate to determine new clusters of predictors for the purpose of formulating and validating hypotheses of disease progression - underlines Professor Vincenzo Valentini, Deputy Scientific Director of the Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS - with responsibility for Big Data - are the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between clinicians, experimenters, data scientists and specialist consultants, who have been able to coordinate to deal with the crisis of pandemic emergencies, enriching them with an added value of interoperability in the Generator project.

Real-time monitoring of data from the hospital was an urgent necessity. According to Antonio Marchetti, Gemelli's team leader in analytics, "a monitoring system has been created that allows the hospital to monitor in real time the progress of admissions, discharges and ward transfers of Covid-19 patients. The system also monitors the occupancy of beds in intensive care, as well as visualize trend data from testing results and deaths by grouping data according to certain criteria. This type of interactive dashboard makes it possible to think about better resource and staff planning".

Mirella Cerutti, Managing Director of SAS Italy, comments "We are proud to be alongside the Policlinico Gemelli to face this situation together. Our experience, our analytical capacity together with dedicated solutions are supporting all departments involved in the Covid-19 emergency. We are ready to support the facilities and entities facing the Covid-19 emergency and customers in any market sector to address, with the help of data and forecasts, this particular moment and the recovery of activities".

A dedicated Covid-19 resources hub is available to access coronavirus information and other materials, including free analytical models, a public dashboard to monitor the spread of the epidemic, a data discovery environment built on SAS Viya, and access to free training.

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