Associate Professor Pinar Karaca-Mandic poses for a photo in Hanson Hall

Professor Pinar Karaca-Mandic Makes an Impact on the Medical Industry

Monday, July 29, 2019

Solving the problems of the future will require an interdisciplinary lens and a focus on larger societal impact, according to Professor Pinar Karaca-Mandic. As a health economist and academic director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute, Karaca-Mandic focuses on designing better health outcomes through innovative, new technologies with a focus on people. We sat down with her to discuss the future of her field and how she’s using business as a force for good.

Why are you passionate about shaping the future of the Carlson School?
I'm very inspired by the Carlson School's dedication to use business as a force for good. We have a lot of communities, and community needs at the local, national, and global level. At the same time, there are business needs for talent and innovation. I believe the Carlson School is well positioned to bring communities together with businesses and train future business leaders to help address these needs.

If you could give graduates one piece of advice what would it be?
I would love to give graduates millions of pieces of advice. I would say I guess the biggest advice I would want to give is don't be afraid to question and challenge even the most widely accepted paradigms. As much as you ask, “Why?” I would also say go ahead and also ask, “Why not?”

What role would you like to play in helping define the future of the business education?
I’m dedicated to training students to have a genuine understanding of community needs, while at the same time having core disciplinary and professional skills to build strong partnerships with the business community and solve problems through creative solutions. In the future, I believe it will be impossible to think of business impact without the community needs, without societal implications, without pause implications, and ultimately without the human impact. For that, an interdisciplinary lens and awareness is critical.

Describe an example on how have you used business as a force for good?
I had the opportunity to co-lead a multi-disciplinary team responding to a national challenge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. We designed a user-friendly app called PRISM to collect patient reported outcomes in ambulatory settings. Our app makes it easier to collect self-reported health data from patients and integrate it into health records. Patient-reported outcomes allow providers to obtain information that can impact population health and treatment plans. This amplifies the “voice of the patient” and provides an avenue for patient engagement, a driving factor for consumer-centric healthcare.

Do you have any predictions for your field for the next 100 years?
I'm a health economist, which is a field that is continuously evolving with new innovations, rapidly changing regulations, and a shifting marketplace landscape. These factors make it difficult to predict what will happen in the future. However, I believe that the future of healthcare will be driven by the ever increasing demand for innovation, through artificial intelligence, genomics, and new therapies that cure diseases. The business challenge will be about how to make sure that these innovations are realized in cost-effective ways, and that they are affordable and accessible to people who need them. Also, there will be a greater move towards personalization of healthcare, and this will bring an ever-increasing need for understanding the patients, the consumers, their needs and really activating their voice.