Project 3 – Burden of Disease

Short Description

Main purpose of project Burden of Disease is the analysis of health-care needs of Austria’s population. Hereby project is subdivided into two consecutive sub-projects: GEPOC (Generic Population Concept) deals with the question, how Austria’s population is currently structured and how it might possibly be structured in several years. Results are necessary pre-work of the second sub-project TOMAP (Tools for Morbidity Analysis & Prognosis). Hereby, based on GEPOC, the further impact of diseases is investigated in order to generate prognoses for current and future morbidity levels in Austria. Furthermore Project 5 (Intervention and Planning) will directly be based on the results of this project.


The goals of this project can be summarised as follows:

  • Development of a dynamic computer simulation model able to validly simulate Austria’s population for up to 50 years.
    As the resulting model not only poses the basis for all other subprojects of Burden of Disease, but also for most research in Project 5, it is not possible to decide which modelling technique will be the most suitable one right from the start. Hence not only one, but a series of different population models are developed, tested, compared and finally summarised in a handbook – the “Generic Population Concept” (GEPOC).

  • Development of a prognostic simulation model for the level of morbidity in Austria.
    Hereby we aim to develop tools to make prognoses for the distribution of Austrian people suffering from chronic or infectious diseases (TOMAP). Especially the occurrence of simultaneously occurring diseases (comorbidity) poses a huge challenge here.

  • Test the tools on certain (multiple) diseases.

In order to validate the tools (i.e. make sure, that the model accurately describes the real system) it is crucial to briefly test them on real applications. Hereby questions arising in the applied projects will be tackled.


In general methods developed in Project 6 ‘Dynamics Analysis’ are applied to develop simulation models for GEPOC and TOMAP. Different modelling methods like agent-based modelling, discrete-event simulation and system dynamics are used to develop different population model concepts. Two different approaches will be implemented as proof-of-concept. Further conceptual developments lead to morbidity modelling which focuses on two areas: Representing the current situation and predicting future trends. Again, two approaches are implemented which ensures overall quality of the models and get insight the impact of the methodological differences on results. The first is based on so called panel analysis by tracing statistically generated fictional individuals over a certain time-span. The second is based on dynamic modelling.

Expected Results

The findings of the project will help to better analyse and predict the burden of disease in order to inform decision makers of the health care system. Furthermore, they will be the basis for estimations of health service need and utilization as well as for the analysis of different interventions.