Digital Innovation in Healthcare

Work Team


The Observatory for Digital Innovation in Healthcare, now in its 11th year, was established with the objective of analysing and promoting the role of digital technology as a means for improving and advancing processes relating to healthcare in Italy. The Observatory intends to be a permanent point of reference for decision-makers - in particular general managers, information system directors and other key officials in healthcare, as well as the players and institutions that operate in the healthcare sector - so that they can exploit the potential of these innovative technologies.


The Observatory's planned actions for 2017-2018 are:

  • Field research involving key people in Italian medical structures, regional government managers and companies under public authority control, general practitioners and the public.
  • Three Advisory Board meetings – attended every year so far by some 100 CIOs, general directors, chief medical officers and health-and-welfare officers in the principle healthcare companies in Italy and officials from the sponsoring bodies and regional authorities, as well as the research sponsors.
  • One work table group reserved for the research sponsors and experts in the sector (CIOs, Management Boards, regional authorities, companies under public authority control, sponsoring associations, institutions etc.), where the objective is to fuel interaction and debate among the participants, encouraging them to compare their experience concerning the new digital healthcare skills.
  • One public convention to present the findings of our research, with round table sessions and talks given by the main players from the healthcare sector, with in-depth analyses of real situations of innovation. Our “Award for Digital Innovation in Healthcare” is presented at this convention.


Award for Digital Innovation in Healthcare


The Observatory’s “Award for Digital Innovation in Healthcare”, set up in collaboration with our sponsoring associations, was first presented in 2010 to create an opportunity to learn about outstanding projects and sharing their findings, in view of their ability to use modern technologies as a lever for innovation and improvement in the world of healthcare in Italy. Our purpose is to create a virtuous mechanism for sharing and rewarding best practice and excellence within Italian hospitals, as they often do not recognise the benefits of applying modern technology as a lever to improve their performance.

In 2017, the Observatory has also established a new category, that of “Impact”. This prize is for initiatives of excellence that have already won an award from the Observatory, to reward projects that, over the past five years, have engendered permanent innovation to the entire healthcare system, with substantial success in terms of both their impact and their outcomes.


Within the scope of our 2017-2018 research, the Observatory will:

  • Provide an estimate of expenditure on social-healthcare matters, highlighting the trends in place both at an overall level (Ministry, regional government, hospitals and GPs) and within the main fields of digital innovation.
  • Analyse the evolution in terms of maturity and diffusion of the main fields of digital innovation (these include telemedicine, digital services for the public, document dematerialisation, electronic medical records (EMR), electronic health records (HER), cloud computing, Business Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, systems supporting clinical governance, etc.).
  • Analyse how widely general practitioners are using and expressing interest in digital services and digital methods to interact with their patients.
  • Analyse how widely patients and the public are using and expressing interest in digital services for the public and digital tools that monitor their life style.
  • Examine in depth the topic of privacy and data protection within the healthcare system.
  • Analyse the opportunities deriving from digital technology to ensure continuity of care.
  • Examine the new skills necessary in healthcare.


The Observatory’s research is based on an empirical analysis that, every year, involves over 200 players in surveys and study cases, including CIOs, general directors, administration directors, chief medical officers and social and welfare officers, alongside regional government officials, general practitioners and a statistically representative sample of the general public.

Sponsorship opportunities

Every year more than 300 companies join the Digital Innovation Observatories activities, getting in touch with the corporate, institutional and academic decision makers

More Details

Partners and Sponsors

For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Digital Innovation in Healthcare Observatory, please contact Chiara Sgarbossa (email: chiara.sgarbossa@polimi.it).