1932

Abstract

Conducting real-world public health experiments is often costly, time-consuming, and ethically challenging, so mathematical models have a long-standing history of being used to inform policy. Applications include estimating disease burden, performing economic evaluation of interventions, and responding to health emergencies such as pandemics. Models played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing early detection of SARS-CoV-2’s pandemic potential and informing subsequent public health measures. While models offer valuable policy insights, they often carry limitations, especially when they depend on assumptions and incomplete data. Striking a balance between accuracy and timely decision-making in rapidly evolving situations such as disease outbreaks is challenging. Modelers need to explore the extent to which their models deviate from representing the real world. The uncertainties inherent in models must be effectively communicated to policy makers and the public. As the field becomes increasingly influential, it needs to develop reporting standards that enable rigorous external scrutiny.

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2024-05-20
2024-06-19
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