Interdisciplinary Center for Health Technology Assessment and Public Health (IZPH)
Societies facing demographic change and budget constraints at the same time are confronted with the challenges of efficient healthcare delivery, quality improvement and cost reduction at the same time. This is particularly true for the German healthcare system. The solution of these socially significant tasks requires interdisciplinary health care research.
With the foundation of the Interdisciplinary Center for Health Technology Assessment and Public Health (IZPH) in 2001, a thematic and cross-faculty network of the faculties of medicine, engineering, economics and social sciences of the FAU was created for the first time in Germany. The objective of the IZPH (Director: Prof. Dr. Peter Kolominsky-Rabas, MD, PhD, MBA) is to provide scientific policy advice based on population and registry data and to analyze health care under everyday conditions.
Outcomes Research/Health Services Research
In Germany, approximately 900 patients with dementia and approximately 600 strokes are newly diagnosed every single day. These figures vividly illustrate the high health policy significance of the two widespread diseases dementia and stroke as well as their public health impact on the social security systems (Kolominsky-Rabas et al., 2020). Population-based registers for dementia and stroke care research are therefore the research focus of the IZPH (Kolominsky-Rabas et al., 2017). The data are used for analyses of care needs, costs and for new applications such as “machine learning” (Vodencarevic, Weingaertner, Kolominsky-Rabas et al., 2022).
- Digital Dementia Registry Bavaria (digiDEM Bayern)
- Erlangen Stroke Project (ESPro) project description
- Bavarian Dementia Survey (BayDem)
Health Technology Assessment/Technology Forecast
On the basis of Health Technology Assessment (HTA), IZPH analyses comprehensively, independently the current and future potentials of inventions and innovations in the health care system and their impact on society. HTA is the systematic, evidence-based evaluation of medical procedures and technologies with regard to their effects on health care. The dimensions of the evaluation go beyond the mere medical benefit and also take into account economic, ethical, social and cultural aspects. In Germany, a systematic benefit assessment with consequences for the statutory health insurance is legally anchored at the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) and the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).
In this context the IZPH is assessing the efficacy and effectiveness of so-called digital health applications (DIGA) and the methodological quality of the approval studies (Kolominsky-Rabas et al., 2022; Zeiler et al., 2023).
In cooperation with the medical technology cluster Medical Valley EMN, the IZPH is investigating the structural and content-related requirements that implant registries must meet in order to ensure the protection of the population. The focus is on concepts of quality assurance, transparency of data, reporting to the public and aspects of ethics and of independent financing of implant registries (Zhang, Kolominsky-Rabas 2018).
Health expenditure in Germany exceeded the one billion euro per day mark for the first time in 2017. In 2021, according to Destatis, health expenditure increased up to 474 billion euros, which corresponds to a share of 13.2% of the German gross domestic product. The high increase is due in particular to the high care costs for chronic diseases. In view of the demographic development in Germany and the associated ageing of the total population, a further increase in care costs in the area of age-related diseases can be assumed.
The research priorities of the IZPH are therefore disease cost studies on widespread diseases with a high public health relevance for the care systems, such as dementia, stroke and heart failure (Kolominsky-Rabas et al.; Lesyuk et al., 2028).