A recipe for quantifying the impact of prevention
It was a full house for Professor Tony Blakely’s seminar on quantifying the impact of preventative health interventions, with almost 100 people in attendance.
Tony began with the motivation behind his league tables, the 100 manila folder problem that is faced by government ministers when they need to decide on which health interventions to invest in. Next he demonstrated how they simulate, using multi-state lifetables, projections of mortality, morbidity and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) for Australian and New Zealand populations under “business as usual”, or under an intervention of interest, such as taxation of tobacco. This simulation framework can also capture other rewards such as a reduction in health expenditure and productivity costs. He finished his presentation with a demonstration of VIVARIUM, which implements his simulation model in Python (soon available on GitHub), and the BODE league table R Shiny app for New Zealand, a visual tool comparing the impact of prevention interventions for policy makers.