Skip to content

{ Category Archives } Medicine

Using Analytics for Emergency Response

I just attended a great talk by Laura McLay at the German OR Society meeting in Aachen.  In her semi-plenary, Laura talked about all the work she has done in Emergency Medical Response.  Planning the location and operation of ambulances, fire trucks, emergency medical technicians, and so on is a difficult problem, and Laura has […]

Prostates and Probabilities

After a few years hiatus, I finally got back to seeing a doctor for an annual physical last week.  For a 51-year-old male with a fondness for beer, I am in pretty good shape.  Overweight (but weighing a bit less than six months ago), pretty good blood pressure (123/83), no cholesterol issues, all without the […]

Statistics, Cell Phones, and Cancer

Today’s New York Times Magazine has a very nice article entitled “Do Cellphones Cause Brain Cancer”. The emphasis on the article is on the statistical and medical issues faced when trying to find such a link. On the surface, it seems unlikely that cellphones have a role here. There has been no increase in brain […]

Probability, Mammograms, and Bayes Law

The New York Times Magazine Ideas Issue is a gold mine for a blogger in operations research. Either OR principles are a key part of the idea, or OR principles show why the “idea” is not such a great idea after all. One nice article this week is not part of the “ideas” article per […]

Larry Wein on Post Traumatic Stress

I missed Larry Wein’s op-ed in the New York Times on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), so thanks to Güzin Bayraksan for pointing it out in her blog.  Entitled “Counting the Walking Wounded”, the piece argues that the number of soldiers expected to get PTSD is quite a bit higher than previous estimates (which were in […]

OR Forum paper on Personal Decisions

There is a new paper and discussion at the OR Forum.  Raph Keeney published  a neat paper entitled “Personal Decisions are the Leading Cause of Death” in Operations Research, where he argues that the choices people make (eating, drinking, etc.) cause more deaths than anything else.  There are some very insightful commentaries about this, and […]

Healthcare, Baseball, and Operations Research

The New York Times had an op-ed today about health care written by Billy Beane, Newt Gingrich, and John Kerry.  Billy is the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team and is the primary subject of the book Moneyball, which looked at how a new look at statistics affects a baseball team’s decisions.  What […]

Six Kidney Exchange

Following up on a previous post on kidney exchanges and operations research (which becomes a pun in this context!), Johns Hopkins Hospital has just done a six-way kidney exchange.  Interestingly, this was not done done totally with friends and relatives: The procedure was made possible after an altruistic donor – neither a friend nor relative […]

Soo-Haeng Cho and the Influenza Vaccine

I’ve been back in the US for about six weeks now, and am getting used to being back in my academic life. A sign of the slowness of this transition, however, is that our operations management group here at the Tepper School is hiring a junior faculty person, and I didn’t notice, so I have […]

Al Roth on Market Design

Al Roth is a professor at Harvard (formerly the University of Pittsburgh: I still go to his house regularly, though he isn’t there anymore) who has done a lot of work in market design. His big success was work in stable matchings, and its application to the matching system between hospitals and medical residents. This […]