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The community invests in Dell Med. In return, it’s our responsibility — one we take seriously — to be agents for change and to show real impact.
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We recruit and train physician leaders as comfortable taking on systemic challenges in health as caring for individual patients.
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We’re here to make health — including health care — better. The end goal is a complete revolution in how people get and stay healthy.
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We reward creative thinking and encourage rapid experimentation, using collaborative programs to speed promising research to market.
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We’re rethinking the role of academic medicine in improving health — and doing so with a unique focus on our community.
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Design in Health — A Radical Problem-Solving Toolbox

The Design Institute for Health is a first-of-its-kind institute born from the radical collaboration between Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. It was established because health is one of the last frontiers to embrace design as a creative, human-centered approach to defining and solving problems.

Through design, the Design Institute provokes every aspect of health systems to work better for people. Its embedded team of health design specialists uses creative problem-solving methods to deeply understand the needs of patients and providers, generate fresh systemic approaches, and rapidly prototype and realize solutions.

The Design Institute Missions

The role of design in health is to provoke every aspect of health systems to work better for people. There are four specific shifts within the health revolution where design has an explicit role in realizing a profoundly better outcome. These four trajectories focus the Design Institute’s work and guide its missions.

Health care today is physician-led. Health care tomorrow will re-orient around patients being more self-enabled.

Health care today is transactional. Health care tomorrow will build experiences to be more human-centered.

Health care today is siloed. Health care tomorrow will shift the approach to build bridges from silos to integrated efforts.

Health care today is about medical care. Health care tomorrow will expand the scope from medical care to overall health.

Photo of a man writing on a whiteboard

Lucas Artusi of the Design Institute leads a summit focused on population health.

A Distinctly New Vantage

Unlike other designers working at the edges of health care, the Design Institute works from within to embed design into every aspect of health systems.

Never before has human-centered design come from within to shape every part of a health system: medical students, value-based care clinics, the commercialization of new health solutions and the ethos of adaptive, responsive organizations leading health.

The Design Institute is here to realize change. It brings specific capabilities and a specific point of view about how and where design can be applied to create impact.

Photo of Stacey Chang presenting

The Design Institute’s executive director, Stacey Chang, shares design thinking principles.

Design in Health

Design has an explicit role in realizing a different outcome.

Human-centered design is a creative problem-solving approach that puts the people served at the center of the innovation process. Understanding users’ needs and designing solutions from their perspective leads to much better outcomes. It’s a repeatable process that can be used to design anything:

  • Tools: New tools (physical and digital) and capabilities
  • Space: New physical environments
  • Campaigns: New approaches, mindsets and languages
  • Services: New service lines and business models
  • Organizations: New structures and cultural norms
  • Systems: New value exchanges and directions

More About the Design Institute

A Deeper Dive

Further explore the work, ideas and happenings of the Design Institute for Health at its home on the web.

Provoking New Behaviors: UT Health Austin Design

The Design Institute collaborated on the creation of Dell Med’s clinical practice to develop an entirely new experience centered around people.

Training the Changemakers

Dell Med’s modern curriculum allows third-year students to focus on unique specializations, one of which is a revolutionary design and innovation track.