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{ Category Archives } Medicine

Playing “Pass the Kidney”

Kidneys are unusual organs. We are given two, though we can get by with one. So, unlike the heart, say, we each have a “spare” that we can donate to others. There are some altruistic sorts who will donate a kidney to a stranger, but, for most of us, we need a really good reason […]

OR Forum Paper on Influenza released

As one of my hats, I am the Area Editor for Operations Research responsible for the OR Forum. This area tries to attract contentious or provocative papers on topics in OR of broad interest. We have just published our second paper in the Area: a work by Dick Larson of MIT on influenza modeling. You […]

Linda Green on OR in Healthcare

Linda Green of Columbia University was here (Auckland) today and gave a talk on the use of operations research in the health care industry. Most of her presentation was on simple queueing models to gain insight into capacity and scheduling for healthcare. Some of this work has recently been covered in Business Week. One simple […]

President Clinton, AIDS and Operations Research

It is heartening to see former President Clinton talk about “Operations Research” and even better to see outside groups see the promise of our field. At an address at the 16th Annual International AIDS Conference, President Clinton announced a new Consortium for Strategic HIV Operations Research. From the transcript (page 13/14): Second point I want […]

Bird flu Logistics

J. Michael Steele has a blog on “Bird Flu Economics”, looking at economic aspects of an avian inluenza pandemic. His blog provides a welcome dose of reality in the arguments about effect and appropriate response to the avian flu. A recent post of his points out how little logistics (read OR) planning has been done […]

Emergency care at breaking point

The Institute of Medicine, one of the National Academies, has a series of reports out about the state of emergency medical care in the United States. The report is scathing in its assessment: Despite the lifesaving feats performed every day by emergency departments and ambulance services, the nation’s emergency medical system as a whole is […]

More Operations Research in Business Week

Operations research is on a roll. The May 29th issue of Business Week has a cover story on the use of simulation and other methods to take the guesswork out of medical care. The key person for this article is Dr. David Eddy, described as a “heart surgeon turned mathemetician and health-care economist”, who was […]