Dell Medical School will use technology to improve healthcare


UT’s Dell Medical School will use technology to implement creative methods of improving healthcare in the Austin area, Mini Kahlon said at a forum on Tuesday.

Kahlon, vice dean for strategy and partnerships with the medical school, said the school teaches its students to think critically and innovatively in order to find solutions to healthcare issues and reduce costs in the new generation of healthcare.

“We are interested in saying, ‘Given the problem, what are the easiest and smartest ways to fix it?’” Kahlon said. “That’s the kind of innovation we would love to see in Austin.”

As a part of the Austin Forum’s monthly events dedicated to technology, Kahlon presented at Galvanize Austin Tuesday night. She spoke to a full house of healthcare and technology
professionals about the need for technological innovation in the new world of medicine.

Kahlon is a three-time speaker for the Austin Forum and has experience in the tech sector, previously managing Silicon Valley startups. She said representatives from the medical school meet with local healthcare providers and clinics to discuss the main challenges facing the community.

Kahlon emphasized the importance of increasing technology in the healthcare field to improve experiences and reduce costs for patients. She said the necessary improvements range from using technology as simple as a telephone to as complex as brain imaging machinery.

“Really, we are a country that should be leveraging the smartest, coolest technology to solve these problems,” Kahlon said.

Ed Park, executive vice president and chief operating officer of athenahealth, said one of the prime problems facing health care innovators is the complexity and size of the medical field.
Park said healthcare is so vast and interwoven that without an intensive and deeply-rooted plan to improve the way it operates, real change is difficult to implement.

What I see happening is a lot of folks that are just innovating around the edges,” Park said during the forum.

Eric Ramberg, who formerly conducted clinical trials and is now the president of an oncology consulting company, attended the event specifically to hear Kahlon speak. Ramberg said he thinks working with technology is necessary to improve medicine.

“Almost anything you can think of is being advanced by technology,” Ramberg said. “I think (the medical school is) going to be doing great things.”