Aim

In the 2020 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) of the European Commission, Italy ranks 25th out of the 28 countries in the European Union1.

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Italy is below the European average in all 5 indicators that compose the index, namely connectivity, digital public services, use of internet services, and integration of digital technologies. However, Italy’s most critical deficit is in human capital and digital skills, where it ranks last in Europe1.

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As a consequence, the country's competitive capacity is compromised and the digital transformation of its processes, especially those relating to health, is seriously delayed.

The Covid-19 pandemic has evidenced how this delay puts both the health and economic and social development of the country at risk, and has provided an unprecedented catalyst for change by influencing the attitude of a large part of the population towards digital technology.

However, a change in attitude is only the first step to real digital transformation of the most critical sectors of our society, especially health and healthcare. Although enabled by technology, digital transformation represents an organizational and cultural process. However, the considerable delay in widespread mastery of digital knowledge and application potential also reflects the insufficient digital products and skills in academic curricula, with the exception of a few noteworthy initiatives. New professional skills are needed, accompanied by legislation that is able to rapidly comprehend and adapt to the profound transformation that technological innovation is bringing to large sectors of the productive and social world.

In Italy, the healthcare field has proven itself to be largely nonadaptive to digitization and technological innovation. In this decade, the Academy must work to urgently resolve this delay in the healthcare field, which is primarily cultural but also organizational.

The Digital Health - School of Medicine of Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome was established in 2020 with the aim of developing human capital and digital skills related to digital health, healthcare, and medicine, which represent major areas of weakness and criticality according to European indices. Through this intervention, Digital Health - School of Medicine of Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome aims to contribute to the digital transformation of healthcare in our country.

To achieve this goal, Digital Health - School of Medicine of Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome will operate according to the standards of the 2020s by keeping abreast of the needs and training requirements of operators and students in order to encourage the development of new professionals and the evolution of new skills.

Digital Health - School of Medicine of Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome offers:

  1. Academic training courses for students of degree programs in medicine, pharmacy, and other disciplines and professionals who want to update their skills to adapt to the new reference scenarios;
  2. Training and research programs with a cross-disciplinary approach for PhD students;
  3. Events to inform and update patients, citizens, and institutions in order to encourage the development of digital and health literacy consistent with the economic and social development objectives of the country, in line with the university's third mission mandate.

Digital Health - School of Medicine of Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome aims to promote the development of health, medicine, and digital therapies in Italy as new disease management strategies, which will complement traditional approaches in terms of research, development, application, and use.

References

1. The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)


Scientific Committee

Last modified: Thursday, 17 December 2020, 2:05 PM