Out of 250 hospitals from 26 different countries, assessed according to the level of digital integration, development of remote services and use of Artificial Intelligence, Humanitas ranks first among Italians. An ongoing trend accelerated by the pandemic, and which will increasingly represent the future of healthcare.

IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas was ranked 1st among Italian hospitals, and 34th out of 250 worldwide in the World’s Best Smart Hospitals 2021 ranking by Newsweek with the support of Statista. Evaluation criteria included the deployment of the most advanced technologies, the use of Artificial Intelligence, robotic surgery, telemedicine and the presence of digital services. Besides Humanitas, 13 other Italian hospitals, including Bambin Gesù, San Camillo, San Raffaele and Gemelli, made it in the prestigious international ranking.

Even though the pandemic has accelerated a digitalisation process that had been going on for years in Humanitas to support patients and doctors, technological innovation has always been a key value for the Milanese hospital.

Artificial Intelligence for research and treatment

With engineering skills playing an increasingly central role in healthcare, Humanitas has set up an AI Center that integrates data analysis and machine learning with the hospital’s clinical and research activities. The aim is to ensure increasingly personalised care for patients, to advance the precision of interventions, to facilitate diagnosis and to help the hospital manage the flow of patients, resulting in an overall healthcare and internal organization improvement.

The AI Center doesn’t only process clinical information: it also aims at building intelligent algorithms capable of finding associations, recognising patterns and constructing prediction models that will contribute to implementing innovation in areas such as Predictive Medicine and Imaging Diagnostics. To meet these challenges, future doctors need to acquire skills, which is why Humanitas University, in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, has created the innovative Medtec School: a degree course in medicine that integrates and enhances medical training with biomedical engineering and allows students to obtain a double degree.

Online medical consultation to ease patients

A number of patient services, such as online medical consultation, have benefited from the
pandemic’s push towards digitalisation. For instance, some pre-clinical examinations are now carried out online to facilitate the path of those who are to be admitted. This is also true for oncology patients, whose follow-up is often complicated by their precarious health conditions. During the pandemic, remote ‘second opinions’ have increased too, as they represent an effective way of helping people far away with difficult diagnoses at a time when travel was prohibited.

Robots in the operating theatre and greener diagnostics

The hospital has been increasingly investing in the most modern technologies: in the operating theatre, surgeons now use robots for urology, gynaecology, orthopaedics, ENT and general or thoracic surgery to remove i.e. tumors; diagnostic imaging can now count on gold standard machines that guarantee detailed examinations with the least amount of radiation for patients.

Digital services: bookings and reports via the App

The hospital’s ‘smart – ness’ is completed by digital services such as the booking and referral system, also available on the App, and Humanitas Medical Care, the extensive network of multi-specialist centres in the area which bring the quality of the hospital even closer to the citizens. Back in 2000,Humanitas was among the first in the world to make blood test reports available online. The website www.humanitas.it is a point of reference for patients where they can find test results, information and news. Ongoing educational activity on prevention and care is also available online, where the web magazine humanitasalute.it or the podcasts realized for informing patients about safety and vaccines are available.