Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Deceased donor chains: Market design language is entering transplantation

Here's some more argument in favor of starting kidney chains with deceased donors, from the journal
Clinical Transplantation Volume 32, Issue 7:

Lessons from Uber and Airbnb: Why we should link the deceased and living donor pools

by Avi Baskin  Ariella Maghen  Tom Mone  Jeffrey Veale

"Deceased donor organs are currently underutilized and undervalued, particularly in kidney chains, similar to how parked cars and vacant homes were before Uber and Airbnb. The ride‐sharing company Uber has been hailed for allowing people to drive their cars to generate more benefit from this underutilized resource. Similarly, Airbnb enables people to rent out their unused property, increasing the potential of an otherwise missed opportunity. Together, Uber and Airbnb represent a new era, amplifying the benefit of cars and property that would be otherwise underused.

"Likewise, the world of transplantation should take note as software programs and mathematical algorithms could also be applied to maximize the benefits of available kidneys for transplant."

The authors are all transplant professionals, not an economist among them. We've come a long way from the days when it was hard to convince the transplant community that kidney transplantation, and kidney exchange in particular, could be usefully thought about in connection with markets, marketplaces, and market design.

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