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Projects

Illustration by Sarah Heng Hartse

The Peer Models Network is pleased to collaborate with Dr. Kate Johnson (UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Legacy for Airway Health) on the upcoming Lifetime Exposures and Asthma Outcomes Projection (LEAP) model project. The goal of this project is to evaluate different possible ways to prevent and treat asthma early in life. To do this, the modelling team will develop a computer simulation model of asthma called a “Whole Disease Model”. This model will represent the lifetime course of asthma, from its development among at-risk individuals, through asthma progression, to end of life. The model will be used to compare the impact of different asthma prevention and early treatment strategies on 1) health and 2) economic costs (i.e., how effective the strategies are relative to how much they cost the health care system?). 

 

The LEAP model project is designed to achieve a high level of stakeholder involvement throughout the modelling process. Currently, the team is inviting patient and public partners, health care providers, scientists, and policymakers to participate in all stages of the model development process, including 1) setting priorities, like deciding which treatments or policies to evaluate in the model, 2) identifying the health outcomes and economic costs of asthma that are most important from different people’s perspectives, and 3) informing key aspects of model development. 

 

In the early stages of model development, the modelling team will consider what aspects of asthma are most impactful from their perspective and aim to prioritize strategies for prevention and early treatment. In later stages, the team will decide together how the LEAP model can best explore the questions about asthma that are most important to them, how to best represent the evidence while considering data limitations and other modelling constraints, and how to best communicate the significance of models results. The modelling team aims to ensure that model simplifications are appropriate from the perspective of people with lived experience of asthma, and that model results are relevant and informative to policymakers and everyone affected by asthma. 

 

If you are interested in being part of the LEAP modelling team, please contact Dr. Kate Johnson at kate.johnson@ubc.ca

On June 14 and 15, 2022, the Peer Models Network hosted the two-part online event “How Can Health Economic Models Best Reflect Patient and Public Values?”, funded by Michael Smith Health Research BC. This event brought together BC health economists, research users, and members of patient and public organizations with an interest in healthcare decisions and health economic modelling.

 

At the June 14th event, participants heard from speakers with expertise in health economics and current practices, values and transparency in science, and new ideas in open-access modelling. The full presentations by Ian Cromwell (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health), Stephanie Harvard (University of British Columbia), and Kevin Elliott (Michigan State University) can be viewed here.

 

At the June 15th event, participants were invited to discuss and record their research priorities and perspectives on appropriate processes, creating shareable knowledge and connections for future collaboration. The insights gained through the discussion can be viewed here, here, and here.

 

The June sessions were an opportunity to share the knowledge gained at an initial engagement session that took place on May 24, 2022, among health economic modellers and decision-makers in BC. The objectives of that session were to share knowledge of current health economic modelling processes and hear priorities and perspectives regarding stakeholder involvement and other forms of transparency in health economic modelling. Participants at that session addressed three topics of focus, including 1) Current processes around stakeholder engagement in modelling; 2) Perspectives on increasing stakeholder involvement in modelling (e.g., values, priorities, structural barriers, other challenges). 3) Perspectives on increasing other forms of transparency in modelling, including open access models.

 

Graphic recordings of all of the above sessions, created by Sam Bradd of Drawing for Change, can be viewed here.

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Illustration by Sam Bradd

Should Canada change the deceased donor kidney allocation criteria to include genomic compatibility? The CanPREVENT team built the Kidney-Tx Sim model to compare the costs and benefits of the current allocation system with one that considers 'epitope compatibility' between donors and recipients.

 

The Peer Models Network partnered with the team to build a model companion video to build awareness about the use of modeling in this project. For a brief introduction to this complex topic, watch Epitope Compatibility in Deceased Donor Kidney Transplantation: A Simulation Model on YouTube!

 

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Should pharmacogenomic testing be a routine part of depression care in British Columbia? The Pharmacogenomics for Depression Project developed a simulation model to address this question, focusing on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of introducing pharmacogenomic testing in BC, as a routine component of clinical practice in the care of people with depression. The development of the simulation model was informed by interviews, evidence from the literature, and from analysis of administrative data.

 

The Pharmacogenomics for Depression Project team partnered with the Peer Models Network to develop model companion videos to increase awareness about the project among policymakers and the public. Interested in how modeling can be used to guide prescription of medications for major depressive disorder? Check out the videos on YouTube: Pharmacogenomic Testing for Major Depression: A Simulation Model and Simulation Model of Treatments for Major Depression: Pharmacogenomic Testing and Beyond

 

 

 

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Illustration by Lauren De Silva

The Peer Models Network was first launched in 2020 through a project titled "The Peer Models Network: A Novel Mechanism to Support Transformative Model Interrogation in Patient-Oriented Health Economics", funded by the BC SUPPORT Unit and carried out in partnership with patients. The goal of this initial project was to explore methods to help make health economics models more transparent, understandable, and open to feedback from patients and members of the public. 

In this initial project phase, we developed the model-accessibility service, website, Twitter, and YouTube page collectively known as the Peer Models Network. The development of the model-accessibility service centered around PRISM, the new technical infrastructure that allows for models to be hosted on a publicly accessible cloud platform. We also invited feedback on the Peer Models Network website and resources through an evaluation survey, which was sent by email to stakeholders in healthcare modeling. We used descriptive statistics to analyze quantitative data and content analysis to analyze qualitative data from the survey. The majority of survey respondents said they ‘Strongly Agree’ that the Peer Models Network should continue to host Open-Source Models (77%) and to produce videos about modeling (68%). Qualitative feedback on each of the website components was mixed, with many respondents suggesting changes. Published results will be made available soon.

More details concerning this phase of the project are available via the BC SUPPORT Unit

 

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Illustration by Lauren De Silva

Illustration by Sarah Heng Hartse