Data Analytics for Organ Allocation Policy Evaluation

Diwakar Gupta, University of Minnesota

Friday, February 22, 2013, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

Transplantation is often the only treatment available to patients suffering from end-stage organ disease. More than 117,000 patients are at present waitlisted for different organs, but only about 25,000 receive transplants in a year. The extreme shortage of organs has led to long wait times and thousands of waitlist deaths each year. This shortage also makes it necessary to prioritize matched candidates for each available organ.

Pursuant to the National Organ Transplant Act, the difficult task of setting allocation priorities rests with the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, run by the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS). The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) supports organ transplant operations by performing policy evaluation. SRTR uses Simulated Allocation Models (SAMs) to evaluate the impact of proposed allocation policies on the distribution of organs, waitlist statistics, and post-transplant outcomes. SAMs are computer programs that simulate the placement of deceased-donor organs according to specified allocation policies, and then collect a variety of statistics of interest. A key module in SAMs is a classifier that determines whether a matched candidate under a specific allocation policy will accept or decline an offered organ. The classifier needs to produce realistic results based on donor, candidate, and policy attributes that drive such decisions in practice. This talk will describe ongoing efforts by my team to use data mining and analytical techniques to build an accept/decline classifier for liver candidates, the challenges we encountered, and the solutions we proposed.

About the Speaker

Diwakar Gupta is a Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He is also an affiliate senior member of the Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration Division of the School of Public Health and a Faculty Scholar of the Center for Transportation Studies. Diwakar received a Ph.D. in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on healthcare delivery systems, state transportation agencies' operations, and supply chain and revenue management. Diwakar’s research has been funded by a variety of federal and state agencies (e.g., Department of Health and Human Services, National Science Foundation, and Veterans Administration), as well as industry sponsors. His papers have appeared in all major journals in the field of Operations Research/Management and several of his papers have won best paper awards. Diwakar has held a variety of editorial appointments, including co-editor-in-chief of the Flexible Services and Manufacturing journal and Departmental Editor of Supply Chain Management and Healthcare and Policy departments of IIE Transactions. More information about his research projects can be found by visiting the web page of his research lab – Supply Chain and Operations Research Laboratory.