Vita-Salute San Raffaele University and IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital partner with Microsoft to build the healthcare of the future thanks to Artificial Intelligence

Milan, October 20, 2022 – Strategic alliance launched between Microsoft, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (UniSR) me IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital (San Donato Group)a unique experiment in Europe that combines the clinical knowledge of multidisciplinary teams with the latest digital innovations.

This is a one-of-a-kind association. There are numerous Artificial Intelligence solutions developed to date in the world, with the aim of supporting doctors in the diagnosis of diseases, reducing time and increasing their precision, increasing the ability to predict prognoses, better classify patients to guide personalized therapy options. Very few of these, however, actually make it into the patient care pathway. The reason why these solutions do not reach clinical practice is linked to multiple factors that undermine their reliability and credibility, including the scarcity, fragmentation and quality of the same data that is used to train artificial intelligence systems.

In this context, an innovative digital data management platform was developed capable of cataloguing, classifying, collecting, standardizing and analyzing the enormous amount of data from the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, a facility that registers almost 1,500,000 accesses per year, enhancing the data in itself, the scientific and informative value of the so-called “real world clinical data” to promote a holistic view of the patient, support a faster and more accurate diagnosis of diseases, evolve and personalize treatments, improve communication between doctors and patients.

This association begins a long time ago with the creation of an experimental platform, born during the Covid-19 pandemic from an idea by professors Antonio Esposito and Carlo Tacchetti, to stratify the level of clinical risk in a few minutes and, consequently, , define the most appropriate. treatment route for patients arriving at the emergency department: hospitalization on the ward or in intensive care, or home monitoring. This challenge led Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Microsoft Italy and two Microsoft partner companies (Porini and Orobix) to work together, allowing the hospital to understand what the impact of digital could be and, in Particularly from AI, healthcare and technology partners how important it was to have physicians and scientists at the table to develop reliable and truly useful solutions in daily clinical practice. At the same time, an in-depth analysis was made of what were the essential requirements to guarantee data quality, interoperability, security and governance. A path that today reaches a turning point, placing the actors involved as precursors of a digital transformation necessary to respond promptly to the present and future challenges of medicine and, at the same time, generate value for patients and the system. sanitary.

The experimentation of Artificial Intelligence solutions is already at an advanced stage of implementation in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, allowing support for the selection of eligible patients for immunotherapy. Medical staff will be able to leverage the results and analysis of AI solutions to significantly increase the therapy success rate, currently only 45%, but also to offer a different therapy to patients who will not be suitable, giving them the opportunity to an alternative. treatment, which until now was excluded. Technology also allows progress towards the so-called Value-Based Healthcarethus making the health system more sustainable to guarantee equitable access to specific treatments by an increasing number of patients.

Other trials based on the Artificial Intelligence platform are already underway in support of treatments for other pathologies, such as kidney cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular pathologies.

The key word for the success of this project is synergy: the creation of multidisciplinary teams, where clinical, technological and Data Science skills come together, will not only allow us to move quickly and decisively towards personalized medicine, but will also allow our university and research to attract specific skills also in the field of IT, closely related to the excellence in healthcare that has been our source of pride for years. We sincerely thank Professor Andrea Salonia, Professor of Urology, and Professor Lorenzo Piemonti, endocrinology professorat Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, with whom we are developing innovative solutions in their respective areas of expertise”, so the teachers carlo tachettiProfessor of Human Anatomy, and antonio espositoProfessor of Radiology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, project coordinators.

The partnership with Microsoft will enable UniSR to embrace the most innovative technologies and services, enabled by Cloud Computing (Machine Teaching, Digital Twins, HPC and Quantum Computing, OpenAI) while internalizing the best skills and development methodologies for AI-based solutions. in (Agile/MLOps).

Another innovation accelerator for the partnership lies in Microsoft’s ecosystem of vertical partners in healthcare, including the digital enablement and experience design component, which has been expanded in the new 2022-2025 work programme, to ensure the best user experience in all access channels to the new services based on Machine Learning algorithms that will be made available to end users (physicians and/or other selected users).

We are pleased to expand our collaboration with Vita-Salute San Raffaele University and IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele and are proud to make our AI solutions and direct Microsoft Consulting skills available to improve patient care. Today, thanks to AI innovation, it is possible to quickly analyze and process large amounts of data to enable targeted and personalized therapies based on the needs of patients, while contributing to medical research activities. An area of ​​great innovation for our health and for citizens”, commented Silvia Candiani, Executive Director of Microsoft Italy.

“The San Donato Group is the first Italian biomedical research center, which focuses on young brains in our country. Our goal is to become in two years the Italian and European reference point for healthtech, the medicine of the future that combines artificial intelligence and health. All this can only be thought of through joint work between hospitals, universities and companies, through the training of doctors and computer engineers who are called to work together, not in a laboratory, but at the patient’s bedside, to find solutions for the future. .”. he has declared Pablo Rotelli, President of Vita–Salute San Raffaele University me Vice President of the San Donato Group.


Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (UniSR) is a university of excellence inaugurated in 1996 and internationally recognized for the high quality of its research and teaching. With more than 3,800 students enrolled, UniSR offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, specialty schools, postgraduate master’s degrees, and doctoral programs. Since its origins, the University has been characterized by a strong integration between research in the biomedical field and in the socio-psychological and philosophical fields, in the conviction that the improvement of the human condition cannot ignore any of these three dimensions. UniSR’s biomedical research activity, translational and with a high technological content, is carried out in synergy with the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, one of the most important research hospitals in the country. Both entities belong to the San Donato Group, the leading private healthcare group in Italy.

San Rafael Hospital (OSR) is a clinical-scientific-university structure of international importance and highly specialized for various important pathologies, inaugurated in 1971 and recognized in 1972 as the Institute of Hospitalization and Treatment of a Scientific Character (IRCCS). It is a Highly Specialized Emergency Center (EAS) and is the didactic-care center of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University. In May 2012, San Raffaele became part of the San Donato Group, thus becoming one of the 19 excellent structures of the most important health group in the country. The IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital is a polyclinic accredited by the National Health Service with more than 60 clinical specialties. The multidisciplinary, technologically advanced structure and the continuous interaction between scientific research, teaching and clinical activity have made it possible to obtain such results over the years that place the IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele at the top of the Italian ranking of scientific productivity and in a reference in Europe and in the world for the study and treatment of many pathologies and for the development of innovative therapies.

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