• Transport
  • Case Study

C.A.T.I.S. Foundation: Artificial Intelligence at the Service of Emergency Response

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The C.A.T.I.S. Foundation is an important non-profit organization born in the early 1980s with the mission of providing the Bologna community with professional emergency and ambulance transportation services.

A reality born from cooperation and volunteerism, deeply intertwined with the identity of the territory: its state-of-the-art assisted healthcare mobility and extra-hospital emergency services have been supporting the citizens of Bologna and its province for over 30 years, providing vehicles, equipment, and specialized personnel in rescue techniques. For citizens, the well-known phone number 051/505050 serves as a reference point, ensuring they receive a fundamental and excellent service that also takes into account "the protection of the dignity and ethical rights of the person."

An organization with solid roots in history, yet with a forward-looking and innovative vision. With the Covid-19 emergency, the Foundation's efforts focused on assisting citizens affected by the virus by enhancing its services, vehicles, and personnel available to hospital facilities. One can easily imagine the complexity of managing its resources in such a critical context.

In line with its forward-thinking approach, the C.A.T.I.S. Foundation has chosen to equip itself with a cutting-edge tool for the management and planning of personnel and ambulances: Artificial Intelligence (AI), a technology that will provide even more effectiveness and responsiveness to support healthcare mobility and extra-hospital emergency services in the Bologna Health Authority (AUSL) territory, and to anticipate critical situations as soon as the first signs arise.

The specific need is to optimize and automate staff scheduling, taking into account specific contractual constraints, holidays and leaves, as well as sudden requests for shift changes due to illness and personal needs. All of this while always ensuring the highest level of service offered to the community.

With its solution, Analytics Network allows the Foundation to introduce an extremely innovative and efficient tool into its transport service management processes for hospitals and private individuals. This application is capable of optimizing the daily scheduling of shifts by cross-referencing the crew's presence and skills with the ambulances, in compliance with system constraints.

Analytics Network has provided three AI modules that will integrate information and constraints related to:

The demand for healthcare mobility and extra-hospital emergency services in the Bologna Health Authority (AUSL) territory and at the Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi in Bologna.
Staff shifts.
Individual characteristics of personnel (professional profile as well as physical attributes, to balance the crews transporting individuals on stretchers, for example).
One of the three AI modules will optimize the monthly work shift planning for individuals, taking into account contractual constraints as well as individual needs such as holidays and leaves.

A second module will ensure optimal coverage of the Bologna Health Authority (AUSL) territory's needs: once the need is known, the system will organize the presence for the entire following month, associating crews with ambulances. Determining the crew for each vehicle must take into consideration constraints that today only exist in the mind of those responsible for planning (for example, pairing individuals of the same height to safely transport the patient on a stretcher).

The third AI module takes it a step further: based on the availability and condition of the vehicles (inspection, sanitization, etc.), it will automatically match available ambulances to the demand planning. This way, at the start of the shift, the crew will already know which ambulance they have been assigned, and the matching of vehicles to personnel will no longer require any manual action, resulting in significant time, resource, and cost savings. To ensure maximum flexibility, the system developed by Analytics Network also allows for manual adjustments if needed.

This is an ambitious and revolutionary project, but developed in a smart way: to give the C.A.T.I.S. Foundation the maximum result also in terms of usability. Analytics Network has indeed developed a customized application for the best user experience.

An intelligent and effective tool with which the C.A.T.I.S. Foundation can optimally manage the entire planning for the provision of healthcare mobility services to the province of Bologna. The choice of the C.A.T.I.S. Foundation to rely on Artificial Intelligence is a case that is more than rare in the panorama of non-profit organizations: a courageous and radical choice that sets the pace in this sector and will allow the organization to carry out its activities at an even higher qualitative and efficient level, benefiting the entire community.