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Health & Life Sciences

Health Industry

In a time of great change for health services Volterra works with clients in both the public, private and not for profit sectors to seize new opportunities for investment and ensure that change improves rather than limits services. Our combination of health sector experience, modelling techniques and policy connections makes us uniquely placed to help and improve health services across the globe.

Our expertise in behavioural modelling has been applied in examining and understanding health and societal trends.

Capabilities Employed:

Health Economics
Socio-Economic Assessment
Behavioural Modelling

The Advertising Association

Studies on the Causes of Childhood Obesity and Binge Drinking

In 2010 we carried out a study to consider the importance of peer acceptance in explaining the rise of childhood obesity in the UK. We found that peer acceptance is a very powerful phenomenon in helping to understand childhood obesity, and is better at explaining the rise in obesity than other factors on which policy interventions are typically based, such as inequality, happiness, physical activity and healthy eating. Have a look at the presentation here.

Previously, in another project for the Advertising Association, we carried out a study to test the hypothesis that copying of behaviour by individuals across their social networks is a sufficient condition to account for the recent rapid rise in binge drinking in the UK. We used market research data and models of behavioural choice to examine the rise of binge drinking. We presented the results at the European Social Simulation Association conference in Brescia, and a paper was published in Mind and Society (read the study here). Our findings attracted widespread media coverage including articles in the FT, Nature News, Science Daily and the Telegraph.

The ground breaking study combined cutting edge network analysis with the survey work to identify the degree to which binge drinking trends can be explained as a social network phenomenon.

Patient Choice Study

In conjunction with the Department of Health, we developed an agent-based model in which agents operate according to behavioural rules. This enables us to explore this new market in terms of how allowing both patient choice and also promoting competition between hospitals may evolve.

The aim of the model was to inform policymakers of the impact of competition and choice on quality of care received by patients, length of waiting lists and the implications for incumbent providers of competition from private hospitals.

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