Using Mathematical Modeling to Make Informed Decisions on Health Care Alternatives

Building the Archimedes Health Care Simulator (ARCHeS)

Dates of Project: June 2007 to May 2012

Field of Work: Mathematical modeling and health information technology

Problem Synopsis: Most decisions in health care are made with little or no good quantitative information about the effects of options on health or economic outcomes. Many fields rely on mathematical modeling to design services and monitor outcomes, but the health care field has not embraced this approach.

Synopsis of the Work: A project team of scientists, medical staff, software developers, and sales and marketing professionals created the Archimedes Health Care Simulator (ARCHeS), an Internet-based system providing decision-makers with access to extensive data on patients, health conditions, treatment options, and costs. Users design and conduct their own virtual clinical trials, modify and adapt virtual interventions to their own populations and priorities, and create and change tables and figures to obtain the information most important to them.

Key Results:

  • ARCHeS moved control over creating health care simulations from highly technical centralized Archimedes staff to non-technical decision-makers working from their own offices.

    Users create and modify assumptions, localize to their geographic area or population, specify multiple conditions, and create and manipulate their own tables and charts of results.
  • As of October 2012, 13 corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions had purchased ARCHeS.


ARCHeS is "the delivery system for Archimedes in the same way that Travelocity or Expedia are online tools for delivering complex travel reservations systems directly to consumers."

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ARCHeS Internet-based system allows users to simulate health interventions, outcomes, clinical trials within hours.

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