State of the Art

In the Austrian health system costs of more than 30 billion Euros arise annually (Statistik Austria 2013). While the demand for health services increases (as a result of demographic change), the resources are limited. This creates a need for the development of new methods, models and technologies in order to support the analysis, planning and controlling of the health care system. The potential market for this is huge. If it were to reach the UK's level for research and development (roughly 1,5% of the health expenditure) this would yield an annual market of up to 350 million Euro for Austria alone. Until now decision support for the health care system is mainly based on the evidence of studies (which inherently have a limited range). On the other hand there lies a vast, unused potential within routine data, which constantly increases in quality and quantity and almost cries out to be used for description and analysis of all areas of the health care system.