Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Forbes Health Forum in Mexico City, May 23

I'm travelling to Mexico today, to speak about kidney exchange at a health forum sponsored by Forbes, and to meet with colleagues at Pro-Renal, the new kidney exchange program there.

Here's a brief news story:
Alvin E. Roth, el Nobel de Economía que ha salvado miles de vidas
No es médico, pero el doctor Roth ha ayudado a miles de personas a recibir un trasplante de riñón, lo que le valió un Nobel en 2012.

And here's the conference program:

FORO FORBES SALUD
May 23,
HACIENDA DE LOS MORALES, CDMX

Agenda (via Google translate)
08:30 HRS. WELCOME
MANAGING TEAM OF FORBES MEDIA LATAM


08:40 HRS. FORBES HEALTH FORUM RECOGNITION
ALFREDO QUIÑONES-HINOJOSA , "DOCTOR Q", MD, FAANS, FACS. WILLIAM J. AND CHARLES H. MAYO PROFESSOR | CHAIR, NEUROLOGIC SURGERY

Dr. Alfredo Quiñones is an example to follow. His history as a migrant in the United States is a reflection of tenacity, dedication, inspiration. He is currently one of the most recognized doctors in the United States for his contributions to neurosurgery. And it's Mexican.


09:00 HRS. INAUGURAL DISCOURSE
TBD

An economic-financial diagnosis of the sector and the challenges it faces such as increased investment in health services.


09:30 HRS. CONFERENCE.
"THE ECONOMY CURES THE HUMANS"

ALVIN E. ROTH , NOBEL PRIZE OF ECONOMY 2012

The work of Dr. Roth has allowed the realization of more than 4 thousand kidney transplants in the United States. This economist developed a "Algorithm of Compatibility" based on technology, big data and the economy applied to health that is solving two of the main public health problems in the world: chronic renal failure and incompatibility between couples of donors and recipients of transplants.


10:00 HRS. RECESS | EXPO | NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY 


10:30 HRS. PANEL. 1
"HEALTHY SOCIETY = HEALTHY ECONOMY"

Investing in health can mean big business, but above all the best practice to build a better future. The principle is basic: if we have healthy Mexicans, companies and the public sector would register a better performance and, consequently, economic activity would register better numbers. How to face costs, have the necessary infrastructure, treat chronic degenerative diseases and maintain a decent level of quality of life?

DR. DAVID KERSHENOBICH STALNIKOWITZ , DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES AND NUTRITION SALVADOR ZUBIRÁN
ÁNGELES DE GYVES , CEO OF THE CORPORATE HEALTH AND WELFARE COUNCIL


11:00 HRS. PANEL. 2
"THE DIGITAL WORLD IN HEALTH"

The patient has changed and that forces companies in the sector to adapt to the new circumstances. The digital revolution is largely responsible for this transformation. How to understand the new consumption habits? How to transmit the information to customers? This table will be aimed at understanding and applying the best techniques to know the voice of the e-patient.

JENNIFER BARBA , FOUNDER AND CEO OF FRAME CONSULTING
ALEJANDRO PAOLINI , MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SIEMENS HEALTHINEERS MESOAMÉRICA AND MEXICO
HÉCTOR VALLE MESTO , EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT OF THE MEXICAN FOUNDATION FOR HEALTH, AC
JORGE RUIZ ESCAMILLA


11:30 HRS. PANEL. 3
"HACKING HEALTH"

New forms emerge as a muscle for efficient use and maximization of resources, patient management and electronic records. Along with this, home care, mobile applications and regulatory challenges begin to be promoted. Also, the best practices of IT companies. This space will serve to know the best strategies that allow the Health Sector to capitalize on the new trends.

MARTHA GONZÁLEZ , DIRECTOR OF IBM WATSON & amp; CLOUD PLATFORM
JAVIER CORDERO , PRESIDENT OF ORACLE MEXICO
FERNANDO OLIVEROS , CEO OF MEDTRONIC
GABRIEL LOOR MD., FACC , SURGICAL DIRECTOR, LUNG TRANSPLANT PROGRAM BAYLOR AT ST. LUKE'S MEDICAL CENTER
MODERATOR : ARMANDO SANDERS , CO-FOUNDER OF GENO +


12:00 HRS. PANEL. 4
"HEALTH AS A BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT"

Health is a good investment. The Mexican Pharmaceutical Industry as a contributor to the productive capacity of the country. Multinational and Mexican companies will share their success stories and strategies to adapt to market conditions.

RODRIGO PUGA , CEO OF PFIZER MEXICO
ANA LONGORIA , CEO OF NOVARTIS MEXICO
RAFAEL GUAL , DIRECTOR GENERAL OF CANIFARMA
VLADIMIRO DE LA MORA , PRESIDENT OF GE MEXICO
MODERATOR : JUANA RAMÍREZ , FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF SOHIN


12:30 HRS. CONFERENCE.
"EXPONENTIAL HEALTH", ACCORDING TO SINGULARITY UNIVERSITY

RAYMOND MCCAULEY , CHAIR OF THE BIOTECH TRACK OF SINGULARITY UNIVERSITY


13:00 HRS. TIME FOR FOOD


14:30 HRS. PANEL. 5
"THE NEW FINANCING"

Pharmaeconomics, changing the health dialogue. Going from asking for "budget" and "demonstrating that health brings productivity". This space has a clear objective: to understand public finances and the impact it has on the country's fiscal balance. What are the new financing models? Topics such as investment in infrastructure, private equity and health financing models will be put on the table.

PATRICK DEVLYN , PRESIDENT OF THE CCE HEALTH COMMISSION
PABLO ESCANDÓN , PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR GENERAL OF GRUPO NADRO
FRÈDÈRIC GARCÍA , PRESIDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF GLOBAL COMPANIES (CEEG)
FÁTIMA MASSE , CONSULTANT IN URBAN URBAN DEVELOPMENT
ANTONIO CHEMOR RUIZ , NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL PROTECTION IN HEALTH / PEOPLE'S INSURANCE
MODERATOR : GUSTAVO CANTÚ , CEO OF SEGUROS MONTERREY NEW YORK LIFE


15:00 HRS. PANEL. 6
"THE END OF THE TRADITIONAL DISTRIBUTION"

New disruptive models of distribution and access to primary health care. The customer service in the last chain of the process in the distribution of the drug is being transformed.

MAX LEONARDO , ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PHARMACIES OF SAVINGS
RICARDO MARTÍ , DIRECTOR OF WALMART FARMACIAS


15:30 HRS. CONFERENCE.
"BENEFITS OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE ON EARTH"

EMMANUEL URQUIETA, MD, MS , SENIOR RESEARCH PORTFOLIO MANAGER OF THE TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SPACE HEALTH


16:00 HRS. HEALTH VIEWED BY THE NEXT SEXENIUM

The political times are already here and, under this environment, this table will convene the links of the candidates to the Presidency of the Republic to share with the audience the great tasks that would be carried out in the next six years.

JORGE ALCOCER VARELA , REPRESENTATIVE OF ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR THE COALITION TOGETHER WE WILL HISTORY


16:30 HRS. CLOSING
***********

And here's an article in the Mexican edition of Forbes describing some of the health problems faced in Mexico:

La biotecnología puede ser una cura para muchos males en México
México está enfermo: Cada año unas 100 mil personas mueren a causa de diabetes, 80 mil por infartos y 80 mil por tumores, sin embargo, la tecnología podría estar cerca de cambiar las reglas del juego. Este tema y otros se tocarán en el Foro Forbes de Salud.

Google translate:
"Biotechnology can be a cure for many ills in Mexico
Mexico is sick: Every year about 100 thousand people die from diabetes, 80 thousand from heart attacks and 80 thousand from tumors, however, technology could be close to changing the rules of the game. This theme and others will be played at the Forbes Health Forum."

Monday, May 21, 2018

Safe injection sites in New York City? Learning from Canada...

The NY Times has two recent stories, one perhaps a reaction to the other.  First this:
De Blasio Moves to Bring Safe Injection Sites to New York City

"Mayor Bill de Blasio is championing a plan that would make New York City a pioneer in creating supervised injection sites for illegal drug users, part of a novel but contentious strategy to combat the epidemic of fatal overdoses caused by the use of heroin and other opioids.
"Safe injection sites have been considered successful in cities in Canadaand Europe, but do not yet exist in the United States. Leaders in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle have declared their intention to create supervised sites, although none have yet done so because of daunting obstacles. Among them: The sites would seem to violate federal law.
"The endorsement of the strategy by New York, the largest city in the country, which last year saw 1,441 overdose deaths, may give the movement behind it impetus.
"For the sites to open, New York City must still clear some significant hurdles. At minimum, the plan calls for the support of several district attorneys, and, more critically, the State Department of Health, which answers to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The city sent a letter on Thursday to the state, asserting its intention to open four injection centers.

 ...
"The most serious obstacle to the safe injection sites may be the federal government. A section of federal law known as the crack house statute makes it illegal to own, rent or operate a location for the purpose of unlawfully using a controlled substance.
The enforcement of the statute in the case of safe injection sites, however, would be up to the discretion of federal authorities. While it is unclear how the Trump Justice Department will respond to the city’s proposal, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has taken a hard line on drug policy.
“We don’t believe a president who has routinely voiced concern about the national opioid epidemic will use finite federal law enforcement resources to prevent New York City from saving lives,” Eric F. Phillips, the mayor’s press secretary, said in a written statement.
Advocates for the sites point out that needle exchanges were considered illegal when they began, and they are now commonplace; in 2015, for example, when Mike Pence was governor of Indiana, he put aside his moral opposition to needle exchanges and allowed a program to stem the flood of H.I.V. cases."
************
And, today, this:
Opioid Crisis Compels New York to Look North for Answers
Supervised injection sites for heroin users have prevented overdose deaths in Canada. But is New York City ready for the scenes that come with them?

"As Mayor Bill de Blasio has come out in support of supervised injection centers in New York, his stance has been shaped by Canada’s lead.
The country has been a pioneer; its first supervised injection facility, where heroin can be used under supervision, opened in Vancouver in 2003. A decade of political and legal wrangling followed, culminating with the Canadian Supreme Court ruling in favor of the approach in 2011."

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A quick look back at the politics of electricity markets

This, from the RTO Insider, which bills itself as "Your Eyes and Ears on the Organized Electric Markets."

Former FERC Chairs Reminisce, Sound Off at EBA

"The Energy Bar Association closed its annual meeting last week with a panel discussion with five former FERC chairs whose terms collectively spanned two decades. The former chairs offered entertaining anecdotes about the past while expressing pride over the growth of competitive markets — and frustration over forces they said threaten them."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Afshin Nikzad defends (x2)

Defense 2, (Offense 0).
Afshin Nikzad defended twice in eight days, to qualify for two Ph.D.s, one from Management Science and Engineering, in Operations Research, and one from Economics (in economics:).  Here are photos from his Economics defense.


Afshin Nikzad and some of his admirers: Philip Strack, Fuhito Kojima, Daniela Saban, Niloufar Salehi, Al Roth, Afshin, Paul Milgrom, and Itai Ashlagi

The papers he presented for his Economics defense were
Thickness and Competition in Ride-sharing Markets 
and 
Financing Transplant Costs of the Poor: A Dynamic Model of Global Kidney Exchange 

The papers he presented for his MS&E defense were 
Approximate Random Allocation Mechanisms 
and
What matters in tie-breaking rules? How competition guides design 


Welcome to the club(s), Afshin

Friday, May 18, 2018

Eric Budish on (expensive) blockchain technology


The Economic Limits of the Blockchain
by Eric Budish
May 3, 2018

Abstract: The amount of computational power devoted to blockchains such as Bitcoin’s must simultaneously satisfy two conditions in equilibrium: (1) a zero-profit condition among miners,who engage in a rent-seeking competition for the prize associated with adding the next block to the chain; and (2) an incentive compatibility condition on the system’s vulnerability to a“majority attack”, namely that the computational costs of such an attack must exceed the benefits. Together, these two equations imply that (3) the recurring, “flow”, payments to miners for running the blockchain must be large relative to the one-off, “stock”, benefits of attacking it. The constraint is softer (i.e., stock versus stock) if both (i) the mining technology used to run the blockchain is both scarce and non-repurposable, and (ii) any majority attack is a “sabotage” in that it causes a collapse in the economic value of the blockchain; however, reliance on non-repurposable technology for security and vulnerability to sabotage each raise their own concerns, and point to specific collapse scenarios. Overall the results place potentially serious economic constraints on the applicability of the Nakamoto (2008) blockchain innovation. The anonymous, decentralized trust enabled by the blockchain, while ingenious, is expensive.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Liver exchange in the U.S.?

 From  Liver Transplantation 24 677–686 2018 

Liver paired exchange: Can the liver emulate the kidney?
Ashish Mishra  Alexis Lo  Grace S. Lee  Benjamin Samstein  Peter S. Yoo Matthew H. Levine  David S. Goldberg  Abraham Shaked  Kim M. Olthoff Peter L. Abt

Abstract: Kidney paired exchange (KPE) constitutes 12% of all living donor kidney transplantations (LDKTs) in the United States. The success of KPE programs has prompted many in the liver transplant community to consider the possibility of liver paired exchange (LPE). Though the idea seems promising, the application has been limited to a handful of centers in Asia. In this article, we consider the indications, logistical issues, and ethics for establishing a LPE program in the United States with reference to the principles and advances developed from experience with KPE. 
...

"The potential number of donor and recipient pairs that might be suitable for LPE in the United States is unknown and is dependent on numerous factors. However, the Asan Medical Center experience from South Korea provides some perspective; among 2182 LDLT patients, 26 involved LPE.3 In the United States, most donors selected for LPE will likely be those where the donor is appropriate to donate with regard to the usual anatomical, medical, and psychosocial dimensions, but for 1 reason or another not appropriate for his or her intended recipient. Centers that evaluate living liver donors follow a stepwise approach to determining eligibility for donation. Some donors are rejected early in the evaluation process for obesity or other comorbidities, age, or being psychosocially unfit to proceed with donation.16, 17 Those who pass the initial screening process are assessed further for blood type, liver volumes, and other anatomical considerations, as well as general medical and psychosocial concerns. The donors who are rejected at this stage in the evaluation are the ones who could be considered for LPE. It is estimated that 3.5%‐17.0% of donors are rejected for ABOi, 4.1%‐14.0% for inadequate hepatic mass to support the recipient, and 1.5%‐6.0% due to vascular or biliary anatomic variations.17-20 There is considerable variation of these estimates based on the order of tests and the screening processes used to evaluate potential donors based on transplant center‐specific donor criteria. These barriers to donation represent opportunities for a variety of exchanges between donor and recipient pairs, such that the total number of lives saved through LDLT could be increased."
...

Examples of Potential LPE

In the following section, we provide some examples of potential LPE. If the history of KPE serves as a guide for the trajectory of LPE, the number of pairs involved, the indications for participation, and the complexity of exchanges are likely to increase (Fig. 2).
  1. Two‐way swap: ABOi pair and a pair where the estimated weight of the donor lobe is inadequate for the intended recipient (Fig. 2A).
  2. Three‐way swap: ABO compatible pair where the remnant volume is too small for the donor; ABOi donor to small child where the left lateral segment (LLS) is also too large for the child; and an ABOi pair (Fig. 2B).
  3. Nondirected donor starts a chain (Fig. 2C).
  4. Patient with familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP) receives a deceased donor organ or LDLT and starts a chain with a domino liver (Fig. 2D).

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Economics that works" in Bloomberg, celebrates Parag Pathak as a reply to some critics of economics


A Top Econ Prize for a Theory That Works
This economist figured out a better way to assign students to public schools.
By Noah Smith, May 15

Here are the opening lines:

"What do people think economic theorists do? The pundits who regularly criticize the profession, particularly in the pages of British magazines, seem to think that they spend all their time making abstruse, unrealistic theories about how free markets are the best of all possible worlds. And it's true that there are still a few economists out there who are essentially doing that. But a lot of theorists are doing something much more humble and practical work on small-bore theories that can be immediately applied to make the real world a little more efficient.

Parag Pathak is a theorist of this latter type. "

And here are the closing lines (what's in between is well worth reading too:)

"In an age when bashing economics is in vogue, the critics should pay attention to researchers like Pathak. Their theories are not as grandiose as the macroeconomic ideas that appear in the press — but they really work, and every day they improve people’s lives."