RIOHS focuses on people, as to the fundamental aspect qualifying and identifying them in their individual dimension and in the relationship they maintain with their social community: human dignity. This supreme value, essential core and root of all fundamental rights, inspires and guides RIOHS’ action, aimed at promoting the right to health, intended as the commonly accepted concept of “mental and physical well-being”, which does not merely imply absence of disease, but depends on the environmental, cultural, economic and social conditions in which people live. Health results not only from absence of pathologies, but from many other factors as well, including healthiness of the natural and urban habitat, safety at work, availability of a home and economic means for a free and dignified life, food quality, implementation of mental health and care services, level of education, schooling and social inclusion.

Health, both in its complex content and in its transversal nature, must therefore be defended by acting on various fronts and in multiple directions. In this multilevel protection perspective, RIOHS aims to carry out research in the field of health and social assistance services, contributing to the development of innovative solutions and new models of care and welfare, capable of improving personal health. These objectives characterize the Observatory’s commitment, but they do not exhaust its content, since the range of topics and issues needing investigation and answers is even wider, within the broad perimeter of the right to health and the protection of fundamental rights.

Promotion of innovation in the health services sector always pays attention to quality, safety and economic sustainability of healthcare. Besides this, it looks at the impact of new technologies on clinical risk prevention and management, at the analysis of consequences from the use of the network and the new generation information tools, at the use of Artificial intelligence, at the understanding of the Big Data phenomenon – also in relation to privacy rules – and at the identification of the different liability profiles, not only related to malpractice by doctors and health facilities, including the connected repercussions at insurance level.

Promotion of innovation in the field of social assistance, which is another focus of the Observatory, involves the analysis of multiple scenarios, the monitoring of complex realities generated by aging societies, by unequal access to goods and care, by a different distribution of development costs, by new dimensions of poverty produced by labour market contraction, and more. Important cultural, economic, social and climatic changes are common characteristics of our time, and their effects reflect on people’s daily lives, putting the fundamental right to a free and dignified existence at risk. In this context, the areas of need are numerous, and they all require specialized interventions to create forms of support and help for people who are vulnerable or disadvantaged in different ways.

RIOHS faces the great challenges of welfare and, in synergy with social enterprises and the entire Non-Profit area, produces research and a high level of empirical and analytical knowledge, operating in the light of social innovation. The Observatory proposes to be a qualified interlocutor for institutions and private and public bodies for designing new assistance tools and integrated services, with the aim of supporting people in need, children, young people, adults in distress or at risk due to disease, disability, poverty, abandonment; for preventing deterioration of physical and mental health, promoting independence and social inclusion, improving the quality of life, especially of the elderly through the development of the best models of Long Term Care; for strengthening the protection of families, as centres of affection, and protecting human rights in relation to people’s needs.