ELITE Transformational Leader Roberto Ascione of Healthware International

Roberto Ascione


Healthware International


Digital Healthcare Pioneer

Trained as a medical doctor, Roberto Ascione’s passion for medicine, computer science, and human-technology interactions have led to his lifelong commitment and dedication to the advancement of digital healthcare and wellness.

Roberto displayed his ability to anticipate the future by designing a full range of services and applications in healthcare through the foundation of Healthware in 1997. During its first 10 years, Healthware experienced exponential growth of its business, expanding across European markets with innovative solutions ranging from the very first integrated disease awareness programs powered by search marketing, to patient-centric interactive services. Under Roberto, the company also created ground-breaking healthtech solutions for empowering HCPs in new ways as well as integrated patient programs.

After several years of collaboration with Saatchi & Saatchi Health, in 2007, Healthware was acquired by Publicis Groupe, renamed Publicis Healthware International (PHI), and Roberto was appointed President and CEO. For the next five years, he successfully led the merger of long-standing digital heritage agencies in the U.S., Spain, France, Germany, and the U.K. In 2012, PHI and Razorfish Health were merged into Razorfish Healthware, resulting in one of the largest global digital healthcare agencies, active in 10 markets with more than 300 professionals under his leadership.

In June 2015, Roberto reclaimed his heritage by spinning his original agency off as an independent. Building on that legacy of innovation, Healthware has since added two new divisions: Healthware Labs, focusing on providing services to digital health startups and delivering innovation projects and solutions to pharmaceutical and device companies, and Healthware Engage, which provides a broad range of specialized media services to the healthcare field.

In February 2017, Healthware took a further step into cross-agency collaboration through a joint venture with U.S.-based Intouch Solutions. Under Roberto’s leadership, the agency has evolved into a cutting-edge, innovation-driven company, delivering value at the heart of the transforming healthcare ecosystem.

Roberto was recently recognized as “Best Industry Leader” in digital health by the Health 2.0 organization. He regularly shares his vision by contributing to the innovation ecosystem as a board member of several startups and accelerators as well as chairing the annual Frontiers Health conference.


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