Modeling and Economics Research Network (ModERN)

The focus of the Modeling and Economics Research Network (ModERN) is to conduct epidemiological analyses, mathematical modeling, and economic analyses to study the cost-effectiveness and population-level effectiveness of public health interventions.

Two projects were launched in 2015 and completed: Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of decennial pertussis booster for adults, which used a microsimulation model to estimate the health and economic burden of pertussis in Ontario in terms of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and costs. These estimates will inform an agent-based model in order to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the decennial pertussis booster in adults. Second, the seasonal influenza forecasting in real time using the incidence decay with exponential adjustment (IDEA) model evaluated the performance of a simple, single-equation mathematical model, which has proven useful in characterizing and projecting (re-)emerging infectious diseases. The model is now being used to prospectively forecast influenza activity in partnership with Ottawa Public Health and the ON, AB, and NS provincial virology laboratories.

Measuring social and sexual contact patterns in Canada to improve control of infectious diseases was launched in 2014; the project is in its third year. Pre-testing of the 6 versions of the social contact and sexual contact questionnaires was completed in 2016. Programming and design of the web-based and paper versions of the questionnaires were also completed in 2016. The pilot phase began in summer 2017. The novel social and sexual contact data collected through this project will be made available to researchers across Canada to conduct mathematical modeling studies to help inform vaccine policy decisions (including HPV, measles, and pertussis immunization programs).