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Designing a socio-economic assessment method for integrative biomedical research: the Osteoporotic Virtual Physiological Human project.

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empirica Communication and Technology Research, 53111 Bonn, Germany.


In integrative biomedical research, methods assessing the clinical or even socio-economic impact of more complex technologies such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based tools for modelling and simulation of human physiology have rarely been applied. The EU funded Osteoporotic Virtual Physiological Human (VPHOP) research project, part of the Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) European initiative, will create a patient-specific hypermodel to predict the absolute risk of bone fracture much more accurately than predictions based on current clinical practice. The project has developed an innovative, multilevel generic methodological framework to assess the clinical and socio-economic impact of biocomputational models. The assessment framework consists of three components: a socio-economic cost benefit analysis, health economic analysis of care pathways, and disease cost simulation models. Through its holistic perspective, the method provides a tool to appraise the overall value of biocomputational models for society.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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