Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Futures Market for Ventilators? :: The EclectEcon

Can he really be off his game like he claims? The EclectEcon comes off the DL, gets inserted into the flu analysis game in the bottom of the 9th inning ..... and it's going ... going ... going gone! over the fence in center field for a home run.

If you are deeply concerned about the man-made consequences of a flu pandemic, then go read the whole thing.

Teaser quote:
And so the result of letting market forces determine who gets a ventilator would be that price would rise until some relatives told the doctor, "Forget it. We'd rather have a plasma HDTV than have Dad stay on the ventilator."

Or something to that effect. After all, in the spot market for ventilators, the sick person won't be negotiating for the ventilator, the sick person's relatives will be.

Consequently, spot markets will probably never be allowed to emerge.
Allow me to repeat myself: Read the Whole Thing.

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Anonymous Dreamer said...

There is another way. A way that is a twist on much of the modern ideas of market power and scarcity pricing.
Consider this. A ventilator, though potentially a complex piece of equipment is less complex than many items people have in their homes costing a few hundred dollars or less. Ventilators made in the 1950's, though they had far less sophisticated controls were able to save lives. All a ventilator needs to do is reliably pump air to a patient in a controlled fashion. The dramatic reduction in the cost of general computer control systems and sensors means that it is possible today to build a ventilator from commonly available components. The hard part is the software. This is a perfect opportunity for an open source approach. This is already being done. See the Pandemic Ventilator Project at

6:46 AM  

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