Health economist, An Duy Tran, working to predict progression of chronic kidney disease

COSMO-t1d: A new tool for communicating the benefits of improving risk factors in people with type 1 diabetes

Dr An Duy Tran is a Senior Research Fellow at the Health Economics Unit in the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne. He is leading the health economic evaluation of the Future Health Today program and is currently working on a plan to build a comprehensive simulation model for chronic kidney disease. This simulation model will be used to predict the progression of the disease in early to advanced stages and the occurrence of complications, particularly when evaluating the long-term clinical and economic benefits of interventions.

An has recently published a study in Diabetes Care, which involved the development of a simulation model for type 1 diabetes based on a nationwide population of nearly 28,000 people with type 1 diabetes in Sweden. This model underwent a rigorous face and internal validation and can be used to estimate life expectancy for a person with type 1 diabetes and predict the occurrence of diabetes-related complications including cardiovascular disease and end-stage kidney disease. It is envisaged that the simulation model will provide an important tool for economic evaluation of emerging interventions for type 1 diabetes.

Given the complexity of the model, An has developed an interactive web application to facilitate communication between researchers, healthcare professionals and people with type 1 diabetes on the benefits of improving risk factors. This application provides graphical visualisations of how the occurrence of one complication influences the subsequent occurrence of other complications, and how different combinations of risk factors affect the risk of complications, life expectancy and complication-free survival time in people with type 1 diabetes. The web application also provides educational materials about the development of the simulation model to increase the transparency of the model as a tool.