The University of Houston announced this month that it has now launched its new Healthcare Business Institute, which will work with medical and business leaders as well as students to find solutions to pressing issues in the health care industry, such as high costs, access to care and new innovative technologies.
The institute will be part of the university's C. T. Bauer College of Business and led by Ravi Aron, research director and professor of health care strategy and technology in the Bauer College Department of Decision & Information Sciences, and Dr. Edward Kroger, the administrative director of the center.
“Providers are facing increasingly limited reimbursement from the U.S. government, insurers and employers. The industry is, therefore, struggling with finding new ways to increase value by improving quality and decreasing cost,” Aron says in a statement. “This is complicated by the fact that the industry is the most heavily regulated in the country. While policy, regulations and the government all have roles to play, efficient care delivery also requires businesses–small, medium, large and startups-to play a significant role in delivering effective and efficient care.”
The institute plans to bring together stakeholders from device makers and pharmaceutical companies to angel investors and educators to address many of these issues. Faculty and partners will release impactful research on topics such as hospital operations, new health care technologies, AI and machine learning in hospital contexts, emerging financial models in health care and a number of other topics.
Research will be shared in a new practitioner-facing Knowledge Portal that will feature a journal, editorials, and other media components like blogs, videos and audio.
The HBI will also have an educational component, with formal degree-based and shorter non-degree tracts, as well as a masters program related to health care leadership. Multiple executive education programs are also in the works.
“This unique combination of researchers, educationists and students will also benefit by connecting to perhaps the world’s most diversified health care ecosystem,” Aron says in the statement.
And Houston is the right place to house such an institute, says Bauer College Dean and Cullen Distinguished Chair Professor Paul A. Pavlou.
“Technology, data, and AI are enabling unprecedented advances in medicine, and Houston’s impressive health care network presents an exciting opportunity for a Healthcare Business Institute,” Pavlou says in the release. “Not only is Houston home to the Texas Medical Center, UH is the only university in Houston that includes a large number of health care researchers at the Bauer College of Business, a world-ranked health law program at the UH Law Center, a computer science department with many distinguished research faculty, and a new College of Medicine."
“The opportunity for meaningful collaboration among health care researchers, industry leaders, and students through HBI will be a tremendous asset for Houston with the potential for local, national and global impact,” he continues.Earlier this summer, UH announced plans to open a 70,000-square-foot innovation hub next to the M.D. Anderson Library on UH's main campus in 2025. It's slated to house a makerspace, the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, the Energy Transition Institute, innovation programs, and Presidential Frontier Faculty labs and offices.