Medicine and Surgery

Master's Degree in Health Informatics

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Health Informatics is a joint Master's Degree course resulting from the strategic collaboration between Vita-Salute San Raffaele University and Politecnico di Milano, two institutions of excellence in medical and technical-informatics education.

This two-year program, taught in English, aims to develop the most advanced informatics skills applied to the field of medicine, preparing highly sought-after professionals for today's and tomorrow's job market.

The current and future development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the most significant advance in medicine since the invention of antibiotics.

Dr. Lloyd B. Minor, Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine and former Rector of Johns Hopkins University, in an October 2023 interview with "The Wall Street Journal."

The realization of this revolution in medicine and biomedical research necessarily involves training new talents capable of integrating advanced computer science skills with a solid and broad understanding of the specific healthcare context.

Health Informatics is designed to train tomorrow's professionals through a targeted, integrated, multidisciplinary, theoretical-practical program where the blend of different worlds becomes a fundamental value for gaining a competitive edge in the job market.

A Tailored Path

The study plan is personalized during the first semester of the first year with two alternative courses: “Software Systems Design and Operations” and “Biology, Genetics, Anatomy, and Physiology”. These are designed for students from different backgrounds to provide an integration of knowledge and enabling them to effectively continuing the course of study.

This structure allows access from multiple educational paths, benefiting the creation of a positively "contaminated" course that values each student's specific peculiarities, preparing them for an inherently interdisciplinary and highly attractive work environment.

Antonio Esposito, Full Professor of Radiology, Vita Salute San Raffaele University (UniSR) 

The common curriculum includes advanced teachings in statistics, data classification and processing, epidemiology, etiological mechanisms, disease diagnosis and treatment, and the analysis and design of clinical studies. Along with the development of Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Artificial Neural Networks algorithms, with a particular focus on clinical solutions, human-machine interfaces, and the analysis and processing of biomedical images. This also includes the definition and extraction of omics biomarkers and the opportunities offered by dynamic databases created through wearable devices.

From Laboratories to the Artificial Intelligence-HUB UniSR

The Health Informatics course involves extensive use of exercises, practical activities, and participation in laboratories up to the thesis project, which can also be carried out through significant research and development projects at UniSR and POLIMI laboratories and research centers.

This Master's Degree offers a particularly important "training ground" for education and practice: the UniSR/OSR Artificial Intelligence Center "AI-HUB", where students can gain direct experience with big data from the real-clinical-world. This is made possible by an interoperable digital platform developed by UniSR in collaboration with Microsoft, which greatly enhances the use of big data for the efficient, fast, responsible, safe, and accurate development of Machine and Deep Learning, and Artificial Neural Networks algorithms.

The platform allows managing the entire development chain of new computer models, thanks to the integration of multiple advanced AI tools and optimized interfaces for analysis and validation.

Building the Future of Healthcare Together

Today, more than ever, it is necessary to train experts with high-level technical skills in informatics who also understand the workings, processes, and issues of healthcare.

These will be the leaders of the revolution in the national and international healthcare world, which will see an increasingly digitized and equitable healthcare context, with a patient-centered, personalized, effective, efficient, sustainable, and safe diagnostic-therapeutic approach.

As detailed in an article published by Precedence Research:

The size of the global AI market in healthcare has been estimated at $15.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to surpass $190 billion by 2030, growing at a rate of 37% annually over the forecast period 2022-2030, outpacing the average growth of AI in general.

The Health Informatics course is designed to meet the demand for talents capable of operating in this complex and growing scenario, in industrial, academic, scientific, or public governance sectors, mastering the most advanced informatics knowledge in service of the healthcare system.

The course was designed with input from many professionals from various fields, such as computer scientists, engineers, doctors, biologists, researchers, statisticians, mathematicians, economists, physicists, lawyers, and epidemiologists, but especially by listening to the needs of the job market through interviews and consultations with major international companies operating in the field of healthcare digitalization and advanced medical technologies, as well as the most advanced research centers and key regulatory and administrative entities in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biomedical research fields.

After Graduation: Training Digital Innovators in Health

Graduates of the Master's Degree in Health Informatics can find employment as Health Informatics consultants, Project Managers, Data analysts, IT analysts, Information Security Officers, Chief Artificial Intelligence Officers, Chief Health Information Officers, Electronic Medical Record Keepers, Chief Information Officers, and Informatics Managers in numerous contexts such as:

  • Hospitals, research organizations, or public and private healthcare companies, in clinical or translational research, administrative, operational, and healthcare management;
  • Universities, companies, and industries, in multidisciplinary teams engaged in developing IT and AI tools for the healthcare sector;
  • Entrepreneurial sectors where the implementation, management, and analysis of healthcare big data or omics data are fundamental for the development and production of innovative IT tools at the service of care and wellbeing of the society;
  • Public entities or health and social security insurance companies;
  • Consultancy firms;
  • Healthcare IT companies.

Graduates in Health Informatics can also continue their academic journey, even abroad, towards an even higher level of university preparation by accessing PhDs and second-level university master's programs.

Choosing Health Informatics: Becoming a Protagonist in Digital Transformation in Medicine

The aging population, the emergence of new diseases, and the management of increasingly widespread chronic diseases require an evolution of the healthcare system towards models capable of efficiently managing these demands.

Why Graduate in Health Informatics?

To meet society's need for highly qualified professionals who can tackle the main challenges generated by the digital transition and the spread of Artificial Intelligence in the healthcare sector.

To acquire the hard and soft skills necessary to establish an open dialogue between the informatics and healthcare sectors and transform the potential of new technologies into positive outcomes for global society.

Above all, to become a leader in the digital transformation in medicine.

The course is under ministerial approval.