The idea of using a mathematical model to make more informed decisions is a common practice in many fields, but it is a relatively new tool for the health care sector.
In 2007, RWJF invested $15.6 million to develop the Archimedes Health Care Simulator (ARCHeS) and ensure easy access to this powerful web-based tool for nonprofit health care practitioners and policymakers to model and compare health care treatments for such things as heart disease and stroke and to assess their effectiveness and cost.
ARCHeS is based upon the Archimedes Model, a large-scale simulation model created by renowned physician and mathematician David Eddy.
Several agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are now using ARCHeS for large-scale analysis on health spending, treatment effectiveness and policy comparisons. The California Medi-Cal program also is using ARCHeS to assess the fiscal impact of weight reduction and anti-smoking programs.