Bristol Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor Jean-Louis Denis, University of Montreal, Canada


Governance of technological innovations in health systems

Visit dates: 1 February - 30 April 2021 (*revised visit date 1 September 2021)


Jean-Louis Denis is a full professor in health policy and management at the University of Montreal, School of Public Health (ESPUM), and researcher on innovation and health system at the CRCHUM. His research program is located at the intersection of applied health services research, organizational studies and policy research. His research aims at developing a comparative and transdisciplinary perspective on large-scale reforms, transformations and improvement in health systems. Dr. Denis’ is an elected Member of the Academy of Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada (2002), Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2009) and Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences (2019). He holds the Canada Research Chair (tier I) on design and adaptation of health systems(2017-2024). His work has been published in top health policy and management journals like BMC Health Services Research, Milbank Quarterly, Implementation Science, and Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law and in top management and public sector journals like Human Relations, Organization Science, Public Administration, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Academy of Management Journal and Academy of Management Annals. He is co-editor of the Organizational Behaviour in Healthcare series at Palgrave. His current research look at transformative capacities across provincial health systems in Canada across various periods of reform, at the roles of the medical profession in health reforms based on comparative work between Canada and England, at the roles of AI and digital innovations in the transformation of academic medicine and on professional renewal in today’s world of organizations.


Professor Denis’ BBMDVP will focus on two areas of work. First, he will develop a joint research project  with Professors Gianluca Veronesi (Academic Host) and Roberta Bernardi (School of Management, UoB) and Ian Craddock (Engineer and UoB digital health lead) on the development of learning health system (LHS) within publicly-funded health systems. LHS is an umbrella concept that captures promising pathways of innovation in health like the introduction of data-driven care, AI-based innovations and digital transformations. In this research collaboration, we intend to probe empirically, using a comparative case study design between Canada and UK, the following research questions: 1. What are the core innovations related to AI-based tools and digital transformation within publicly funded health systems? , 2. How do contextual factors (wider system and organization) catalyse and orient the development and deployment ofAI-based tools and digital transformation? 3. What are the key predispositions (adopter, value proposition, technology and domain of application), resources and capacities mobilized in the two jurisdictions to enable the development and deployment ofAI-based tools and digital transformation?

Secondly, based on the current research on the roles of medical doctors in health reforms in Canada and England and recent work on collegiality in professionalized organizations carried out by Professors Denis and Veronesi, the aim is to develop an innovative research programme with the participation of Dr Bernardi on the governance of innovative organizational forms. The aim of this emerging research program is to compare the evolution of public services, including healthcare, facing simultaneous and reciprocal transformations in their governance arrangements and mechanisms, technologies such as collaborative platforms and professional roles and practices.

Professor Denis is hosted by Professor Veronesi, Economics, Finance and Management.

Planned events include:

Public Lecture
Health systems reforms in high-income countries: trends, convergence and divergence

Open Seminar in collaboration with the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute
Leadership in healthcare: fostering collaborative approaches at intra and inter organisational levels

Postgraduate seminar
Digitalized organisations in healthcare: Challenges and opportunities