Reducing the burden of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease

Decision Analytics Case Study

Systems modelling is an innovative solution to meet the challenges of complex, chronic health conditions. Amgen Australia asked the Sax Institute to undertake a research project that would simulate different prevention and treatment strategies for osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Our independent process engaged key stakeholders to contribute their knowledge and build consensus. The models were highly effective and led to policy dialogue and further research.

Our collaborative approach

Amgen Australia wanted to summarise evidence and investigate policy options to reduce the burden of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Australia. They engaged our Decision Analytics team to create two systems models, one for osteoporosis and one for CVD, that would combine research evidence, data and clinicians’ experiences.

At the beginning of each project, we brought together leading researchers from relevant disciplines, healthcare professionals, clinicians, consumer representatives and policy makers who were closely consulted throughout the development of the models. An expert advisory committee oversaw the independent development of the models, chaired by a representative from the NSW Population & Health Services Ethics Committee.

Working with our experts and a broad range of evidence, we mapped out and quantified the disease burden, health service pathways and prevention strategies. The user-friendly interface we produced allowed anyone to interact with the model without having to understand their complex mechanisms. Different strategies can be tested by switching them on and off and looking at the health and economic impacts. The interface can be used to facilitate policy discussions and to support decision making.

Results and impact

  • Our two models successfully forecast and compared the effectiveness and cost of strategies. Findings for osteoporosis are summarised here and findings for CVD are here.
  • Our work built a foundation for policy dialogue, including a meeting with the Chronic Disease Policy team at the Department of Health.
  • The CVD model has been further developed to investigate the cost-effectiveness of novel risk identification techniques with leading cardiologists. It has also been used by the NSW Office of Chief Health Officer to inform strategies to prevent acute cardiac deaths.
  • Findings from these models have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Public Library of Science and presented at various conferences.
Decorative headshot of Sean Lyband

The Sax team and collaborators built an impressive and easy-to-use dynamic interface to demonstrate the outcomes of intervention choices. I’m confident that systems modelling will inform better policy interventions and lead to more effective and enduring outcomes.

Sean Lybrand

Executive Director, Access to Healthcare at Amgen

Explore the model

Explore the cardiovascular disease model or contact us if you have any questions