194.094 Modelling and Simulation in Health Technology Assessment
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2023W, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC, to be held in blocked form


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Online

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to

  • understand basic concepts of HTA (Health Technology Assessment) and CER (Comparative Effectiveness) and their effect on the introduction of innovative therapies, pharmaceutics and medical products into health systems
  • understand basic data structures of health systems, in particular in the Austrian setting
  • analyze and model medical interventions, such as pharmaceutics medical devices, or vaccines in terms of their effects in the health care system.
  • fundamentally understand and use three different modeling methods (System Dynamics, Agent-based Simulation and Markov Processes) in HTA
  • acquire skills to use modelling and simulation for assessment of innovative drugs, medical products or therapies.
  • compare the modelling approaches and their benefits when chosing the method for analysis of HTA questions
  • implement one of the mentioned methods for a specific problem in a simulation environment

Subject of course

Medical technologies and pharmaceutics are strictly evaluated regarding their effects on patients and the health system. This starts at research and development continuing up to production and integration into the health system.

This is important to evaluate and predict benefit, market possibilities and economic success of such technologies. These include analyses of needed data, evidence and proof of the benefits, identification of the target population, representation of the patients that should be supplied and evaluation of the therapeutic outcomes. For students in the area of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics and Mathematicians in the Area of HEOR (Health Economic Outcomes Research) therefore basic knowledge on these subjects and processes provides an excellent extension for their curriculum.

In the lecture, we present actual problems of the health system and where methods from modelling and simulation are applied to get solutions. Therefore, three different mathematical modeling concepts are introduced (System Dynamics, Agent-Based Simulation and Markov Processes) which are widely used for evaluation of interventions and medical technologies. The implementation phase of simulation models is presented and shown with examples. Finally the interfaces between the health system (macro level) and clinical, experimental and simulation data (micro level) will be outlined and examples for applications will be shown.

Basic knowledge of concepts and methods on Comparative Modeling & Simulation, Health Systems, Data Structures and Evidence Based Medicine  will be taught. Students receive an introduction into data structures, available data and decision-making structures in the Austrian health system and HTA and CER. In addition basic concepts for the evaluation of medical devices and pharmaceuticals as well as Health Technology Assessment (HTA) are explained (e.g. definition of a PICO research question, building mathematical models for this PICO structure).

Teaching methods

  • Lecture and regular discussion with the auditorium
  • Supervised hands-on modeling and programming of a case study

Mode of examination


Additional information

The course starts on 22 November and takes place every Wednesday 2:30pm - 6:00pm (with a short break)

Lecture Room: Seminarraum AE U1 - 6
Hauptgebäude Karlsplatz 13, Room Number: AEU131

The course is based on the basics of mathematical modeling concepts and simulation in general. In addition, in the field of HTA and CER as well as Medical Decision Making on the work on "Modeling Good Research Practices" see also: https://smdm.org/hub/page/modeling-good-research-practices-task-force/publications

The lecture is held in cooperation with DEXHELPP (Decision Support for Health Policy and Planning). DEXHELPP (http://dexhelpp.at/)) works in close cooperation with TU Wien on the development and use of new methods, models and technologies to support the analysis, planning and management of health systems.

We expect the following expenditure of time:

  0.5h   Preliminary
18.5h   VU units (11 x 1.5h, 2 x 1.0h)
  0.5h   Project release
35.0h   Project work including meetings with your supervisor
15.0h   Preparation examination
  1.0h   Examination
  3.0h   Preparation for project presentation
  1.5h   Project presentation
75.0h  = 3 ECTS

We ask you to comply with the LVA registration period.



Examination modalities

The certificate is acquired through an oral examination and through the submission of the jointly prepared case study.

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
01.11.2023 00:00 22.11.2023 00:00


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 453 Biomedical Engineering Not specified
066 645 Data Science Mandatory elective


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

Basic Understanding of Modelling & Simulation


if required in English