Executive Summary Modeling Public Health Outcomes

Executive Summary
Modeling Public Health Outcomes
This paper reviews the challenges facing the construction of a U.S. national health outcomes
simulation. The simulation is imagined to model the U.S. population into 2020 and beyond. It
will be capable of modeling individual health risk factors and the consequent burden of disease
and its economic cost. It will have the ability to model interventions on selected groups within
the population and to model the likely health and economic cost consequences of those
Governments require quantified predictions of the health of future populations. Actuarial
projections often ignore environmental influences on health and mortality; health predictions are
often too specific for macro policy. The point of this development is to enable both to function
and to inform each other so that population prediction is reliably augmented with predictions of
health status.
The paper discusses the analytic methods and data sets as they are appropriate for the
construction of the simulation. This builds on work for the Foresight obesity model in England in
2007. The recommended construction of a U.S. health outcomes simulation is a large
undertaking and for it to work transparency and modularity are key. The iterative nature of the
project is emphasised while noting that intrinsic uncertainties and current data shortfalls are not
good reasons for delaying its inception.