Imperial College London

Assessing the Impacts of Public Health Policies using Computer Simulation Models


QSRI co-sponsored workshop

With the support of the Quantitative Sciences Research Institute (QSRI), Prof. Franco Sassi, Director of the Centre for Health Economics & Policy Innovation (CHEPI) at Imperial College Business School, and Prof. Mauricio Barahona, Director of the Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare, hosted a workshop on the 24th February 2020 in London bringing together mathematical modellers from a widerange of disciplines and policy makers to discuss the latest advances and trends in modelling, how different disciplines approach common problems, and to learn from each other on how to successfully influence policy decisions using models.

Session One — Reflections on trends in model types by discipline Chaired by Prof. Mauricio Barahona, the day opened with three presentations from leading mathematical modellers discussing different model types in various use cases spanning different scales, dimensions and applications.
1. Microsimulating Urban Travel: Trends, Issues & Prospects — Prof. Eric Miller (University of Toronto)
2. Modelling health behaviour and their role for the development of chronic conditions using routinely-collected population-based data — Prof. Doug Manuel (University of Ottawa)
3. System dynamics and their value in modelling health processes and outcomes — Dr Reda Lebcir (University of Hertfordshire)

Session Two — Modelling drivers of disease risk The second session, chaired by Prof. Franco Sassi involved speakers presenting examples of models capturing dimensions such as molecular biomarkers, geography, communication and networks that influence behaviour and drive disease risk.
1. Behavioral Health Modeling: A Framework to Model Health Impacts of Travel Behavior and Activities — Prof. Rolf Moeckel (Technical University of Munich)
2. Learning to simulate. Using variational autoencoders to learn functions — Dr Samir Bhatt (Imperial College London)

Session Three — How do different disciplines approach handling uncertainty? Chaired by Prof. Tim Hallett of the School of Public Health, the third session looked at the technical problem of how various disciplines handle uncertainty in their models.
1. Uncertainty in financial economic models — Dr Harjoat Bhamra (Imperial College London)
2. Addressing Uncertainty in Individual-Based Disease Models — Dr Daniel Klein (Institute for Disease Modeling)

3. Social networks, Socio-economic fields and Behaviour — Prof. Nick Jones (Imperial College London)

Session Four — What are the contextual barriers preventing models from influencing policy decisions? The fourth and final session of the day was chaired by Dr Y-Link Chi of the School of Public Health and turned the spotlight on policy makers to ask what barriers prevent models from influencing policy.
1. Dr Michael Borowitz (The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria)
2. Dr Abbygail Jaccard (Public Health England)
3. Dr Melanie Bertram (World Health Organization)
4. Dr Aliénor Lerouge (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)


Anna Radomska

Anna Radomska
Department of Mathematics