The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented challenged to decision makers in politics and the health care system. The primary goal was to keep the number of critical cases below the limits of the health care system, and hence ensure medical care for the population. To achieve this extreme measures up to a total lockdown have been taken - with corresponding social and economic side effects.

Due to its expertise and long-lasting research, in cooperation with dwh GmbH and TU Wien, the research platform DEXHELPP has the tools (amongst others GEPOC and the ABT-framework and the know-how to evaluate the efficiency and effects of single measures as well as of packages of countermeasures. It is also possible to also calculate their impact on the health care system to assess the limits of resources. Thanks to this expertise Austrian decision makers were provided with a solid basis for their decisions.

Research projects and advisory activity

Research projects

Advisory activity


dwh GmbH, DEXHELPP and the research team “Modeling and Simulation” at the Vienna University of Technology, continuously collaborate in research and industry projects with different organizations and companies. In the field of health care, this involves method development, as well as analysis and modeling of medical interventions.

In the last three years, these were the following companies (in alphabetical order): Abbvie (Health Economic Evaluation), Akribes (Database Development), BMSGPK (Epidemic Modeling, Intervention Scenarios), Dachverband der österr. Sozialversicherungen (DEXHELPP COMET project), E+E (Artificial Intelligence/Image Recognition), Energy3000 (Prognosis Models), Gemeinde Wien (Logistics Modeling), Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (Epidemic Modeling, Intervention Scenarios), Gruber Debong GmbH (Patient Care Modeling), IHS (epidemic modeling), IMEPHS (DEXHELPP COMET project), Land Oberösterreich (epidemic modeling), Lenzing (epidemic modeling), Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for HTA (DEXHELPP COMET project), Medical University of Vienna (physiological modeling), MSD (Analysis Dashboard Development, Compliance Analysis), Niederösterreichische Landesgesundheitsagentur (Resource Modeling), ÖBB (Modeling, Optimization), OnSight (Artificial Intelligence), ORF (Data Journalism), PremiQaMed (Infrastructure & Process Modeling), Synthesis (DEXHELPP COMET project), Verband der Privatkrankenanstalten (Workshop Modellierung), Tamirna (cost-benefit evaluation of clinical trials), Wiener Gesundheitsverbund (epidemic modeling, intervention scenarios), as well as other research institutions within funded research collaborations. Niki Popper is co-founder, co-owner and CSO of dwh GmbH, and board member of DEXHELPP.

He has given talks and keynotes at the following organizers over the past three years (in chronological order): Ärztekammer für Wien, Binder Grösswang, Infineon, Internationale Akademie Traunkirchen, ORS Group, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Infektionskrankheiten und Tropenmedizin (Event was sponsored by AstraZeneca and Glaxo SmithKline), Palfinger AG, Roche Pop-up Lounge, SORA.

  • With ** marked lectures took place as information & knowledge transfer, for this no fee was charged.
  • Marked with * are those lectures that were given for a fee.
  • Without marking are scientific or public-general educational lectures.

For further questions in this regard, please feel free to contact us.

Niki Popper

Curriculum vitae

Documents and scientific publications

Scientific publications

Without Preprint

  • Lepping J., Wolfinger D., Doerner K., Gansterer M., Bicher M., Popper N. “The Contagious Disease Testing Problem – A scenario analysis”. To be published in the Conference Proceedings of the OR2021.
  • Bicher “An Iterative Algorithm for Optimizing COVID-19 Vaccination Strategies Considering Unknown Supply”. Soon to appear in PLOS ONE
  • F. Gigler, C. Urach, M. Bicher, “Contact Tracing for Disease Containment: a Network-Based Analysis” to be presented at MATHMOD 2022 and published in IFAC Papers Online
  • M. Bicher, C. Rippinger, N. Popper, “Time Dynamics of the Spread of Virus Mutants with Increased Infectiousness in Austria” to be presented at MATHMOD 2022 and published in IFAC Papers Online

Technical documents, further information and resources

Technical Description of Simulation Model and Parameters

Relevant scientific preliminary work

DEXHELPP has been providing decision support to a wide range of stakeholders in the area of Health Technology Assessment for many years. These stakeholders range from the Ministry of Health to the umbrella organization of the Austrian social security system to various hospital operators. Within the framework of the incubators INITS and Health Hub Vienna, the research platform supports national and international start ups in the evaluation of their innovations for the health care system. Projects range from the analysis of new interventions and therapies, to the question of organizational processes in the health care system and the evaluation of new e-health applications.

A selection of pre-projects relevant for the simulation of COVID-19 are for example the evaluation reports on measles- and polio vaccination rates for the Ministry of Health since 2015, which are the basis for the reference values reported to the WHO. Modeling and simulation of epidemics and the evaluation of appropriate measures and vaccination strategies have been a focus of DEXHELPP since 2010. Examples are projects on influenza and pneumococcus, as well as projects on dengue fever (see publication below).

The expertise of DEXHELPP is also recognized and appreciated in the scientific environment, and was developed under the leadership of dwh GmbH from the forerunner project IFEDH (mit neun weiteren Partnern aus Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft). (with nine other partners from industry and science). For many years DEXHELPP has facilitated cooperation of key-players such as AIHTA (formerly LBI-HTA), Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG), Federation of Social Insurances, the Ministry of Health, and many other partners.

The DEXHELPP Chairman, Niki Popper, is among other things Founding President of the ISPOR Austrian Chapter and Reviewer at SMDM Modelling Good Research Practice. He is a member of the board of the ASIM, the German-speaking simulation society, where he is in charge of the area ‘Fundamentals and Methods’, he is General Secretary of EUROSIM, the Federation of European Simulation Societies, and coordinator of its Technical Committee ‘Data Driven System Simulation’.

Publication of preliminary work

Media coverage

Keynotes, lectures & discussions

Press releases

In the media


The statement by Niki Popper (from this WWTF-talk) focused on the exclusive effect of the vaccination at the time of re-opening. I.e. until re-opening at May 15th the effect of vaccination alone is not enough to justify re-opening. Though the combination of all reducing effects allows for a positive perspective.