PhD in Health Services

Intesa Sanpaolo and Università Cattolica have been working together to promote the digitalization of health systems. They have succeeded in establishing the PhD in Health Services and Systems Research.

The digitalization of health systems is a key theme of the PhD in Health Services and Systems Research carried out jointly with Intesa Sanpaolo and Università Cattolica. Academic research is a fundamental element to accompany health services towards new models of care and intervention supported by technology. The Covid-19 emergency has forced us to experiment with new, more connected and resilient solutions to manage the contagion, thus accelerating the era of digital healthcare transformation.

What are the impacts of digital transformation in healthcare?

The digital transformation impacts a wide range of functions and services related to healthcare management and the relationship between doctor and patient, including the latter's health information. In a nutshell, it introduces the use of methodologies and technologies that ease the access to services so to evolve the capacity for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, surveillance and continuity of care.
Furthermore, digital transformation is making patients’ information increasingly open and available. The immediate availability of the patients’ set of information allows the acceleration of predictive and preventive medicine which trigger the production of additional information that must be collected, stored and managed safely and in compliance with the regulations on the processing of personal data.

A challenge to win

It comes to light that the challenge to be won is: spreading digital culture in this respect! 
Only by doing these changes can be extended to all components of the health system, starting by the basic elements and experiences, to organizational processes and management.
Looking ahead, the strategic nature and centrality of digital will increasingly reduce the distance between citizens, operators and health facilities, bringing substantial benefits to the entire system. The new ways of connecting all the actors will give life to ecosystems that will bring innovation in healthcare organizations, in operating procedures, in work and interaction processes.                                                                                                                       
Innovation that will require constant and rapid regulatory evolution and the presence of new professional figures with increasingly advanced skills.

The Intesa Sanpaolo and Università Cattolica collaboration: the PhD in Health Systems and Service Research

The digital transformation of healthcare is also a driving force behind the collaboration between Intesa Sanpaolo and Università Cattolica.
Together, as part of the High School in Economics and Management of Health Systems and jointly with the Faculty of Economics and Medicine and Surgery A. Gemelli, they have established the PhD in "Health Services and Systems Research".

Aims and Department

In the various fields of study, the research explores the possibilities of digitization and the technologies necessary to plan and manage health systems and to improve the diagnosis and treatment processes. Aim that represents a central theme of the PhD. 
The researchers thus trained will be ready to face the challenges arising from the complexity of governance and the clinical, organizational and economic management of health systems.                                                                             
The department of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore also includes representatives of other prestigious universities, and professionals and managers with consolidated business and teaching experience.

Educational program

The doctoral course offers a multidisciplinary educational program that explores issues and aspects of public and private health: from economics to sector legislation, digitization and management skills necessary to manage new scenarios.
Teaching is inspired by the canons of Health Services and Systems Research (HSSR), a scientific approach that studies and analyzes the ways and impacts with which social factors, sources of funding, organizational processes, medical technology and personal behaviors, affect the different stages of care, as well as the costs and quality of services.
The areas that researchers explore in the doctoral course are different:

  • Healthcare Management - application and adaptation of methods and tools for the effective management of complex organizations to the context of health services and development of innovative and specific methods for governing health organizations
  • Health Economics - methods of allocating economic resources for the promotion and recovery of health in the macro aspects
  • Economic evaluations of health programs - development and application of innovative methodologies for evaluating the effectiveness and utility and costs of health programs
  • Health Technology Assessment - development and application of models for analyzing the impact of the implementation of health technologies created to support decision makers at different levels of the system
  • Big Data Analytics for Healthcare Service and Systems Management - methodologies and approaches for the analysis of clinical and economic data to support the correct evaluation of health technologies and drugs
  • Global Health - analysis of the state of health and real needs of the world population, and of the impacts and influences that socio-economic determinants carry out
  • Health Legislation - study of the institutional structures and legal constraints that characterize medical activities and health organizations and the behavioral, clinical and organizational repercussions deriving from legal problems and regulatory restrictions.


In the spirit of this strong partnership, the Research Doctorate Study Room in Health Systems and Service Research at the Rome office was named after Intesa Sanpaolo.

Also, for healthcare, technological innovation represents an important step to improve and employ increasingly advanced solutions and tools.                                 
The technology is ready to suppport the healthcare sector in its digital transformation. It is now important to invest in research aimed at improving the health of citizens, the quality and sustainability of the health system. It is important to invest in the training of future health professionals, so that they can accompany this change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         July,  2021

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