SIMUL8 at Informs: Day 3 – the impact of OR
For me Day 3 of informs2013 has been about inspiring us with the difference we make in our profession.
Dimitris Bertsimas talked to us in the plenary about how MIT are working on delivering a vision of 21st century medicine where patients are given a personalized, analytics driven treatment plan. That vision goes as far as expecting future doctors to be trained in analytics as part of med school. They are currently trialing an analytics and optimization system for diabetes management – a worthy cause that affects over 5% of the population in the world and cost US healthcare $245B in 2012 (10% of the total US healthcare spend that year).
Essentially this is a tool that helps people with diabetes choose what and when to eat and how much and when to exercise as a function of their metabolism and their food preferences – trying to make the choices as appealing as possible to ensure success of their treatment. So, not only is this OR is continuing to play its role in transforming lives and processes but presents a huge opportunity for OR to claim a significant role in analytics – an area that is only going to grow and grow in importance
There have been a lot of talks related to non-profits – at CHAI (Clinton Health Access Initiative) I heard how a range of methodologies including simulation and Big Data are being used to increase access to services and treatment in low resource countries. One model has identified a treatment path that can reduce mother to child HIV transmission rate from 12,000 to 5,000 (at a noticeably lower cost); another how to extend the life of infected babies to 50 years if treated early enough.
This is what OR is about – looking for clever ways to apply new and old techniques to make things better. OR isn’t a small part of what CHAI do – they actually have an applied analytics team and are looking for Operations Researchers to join the team. An intern told us that she has been blown away by the meaningful work she’s doing … Get your resume in!