Asia Health Policy Program Leads Workshops on Diabetes Research in Seoul and Busan

Jointly with partners throughout Asia, the Asia Health Policy Program (AHPP) at Shorenstein APARC has developed comparative research on health care use, medical spending, and clinical outcomes for patients with diabetes in the region and other parts of the world as a lens for understanding the economics of chronic disease management. Karen Eggleston, AHPP director and APARC deputy director, recently traveled to South Korea, where she led three project-related events.

On November 29, a workshop on Net Value Diabetes Management was held at Seoul National University (SNU) School of Medicine. This was the third such workshop convened through the project, following two previous ones held in Beijing at the Stanford Center at Peking University. Another workshop, on diabetes modeling, hosted by the Mt. Hood Diabetes Challenge Network, was held at Chung Ang University on December 1. Finally, on December 5, Eggleston held an information session, titled Comparative Economics Research on Diabetes, during the 2019 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) at BEXCO in Busan. These events were also made available through video conferencing to enable remote participation by collaborators who were unable to travel to Korea.

[Learn more about AHPP’s Net Value in Diabetes Management research project]

Diabetes Net Value Workshop

The workshop brought together team members from multiple health systems — including South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, the Netherlands, and the United States — to discuss comparative research on the economics of diabetes control. Eggleston shared the results of a study outlined in a working paper on the net value of diabetes management in Japan, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. This research is part of a broader series of studies aimed to help address the policy challenge of finding the best strategies to improve health through cost effective prevention and healthcare productivity in chronic disease management.

The key to this research was to measure changes in quality or health outcomes over time by predicting mortality risk using blood pressure, blood sugar, and other factors amenable to patient and provider control and improvement (controlling for age and duration of diabetes diagnosis). The research seeks to understand how we can control cost and eliminate waste without cutting out the things that are valuable and improving people’s quality of life. Further studies probe determinants of relative net value of a pay-for-performance program in Taiwan, adherence to medications and vertical integration in Japan, and net value based on a randomized controlled trial in India.

Two women and three men talking with each other in a conference room
Karen Eggleston (left) with workshop participants.

Young Kyung Do of SNU reported that according to his evaluation project for diabetes care, the quality of care and treatment in South Korea has improved and is similar to Hong Kong and Singapore. The goal of the program is to provide more comprehensive care to diabetes patients.

Talitha Feestra of the Netherlands net value team presented her proposal for joint research to develop new prediction models for specific populations as a core component of health economics decision models in Diabetes. Feestra will take the lead to develop the plan and time frame for the continuation of this research in 2020.

Several additional comparative studies were proposed and discussed. Participants who attended the workshop and contributed to discussion included Junfeng Wang from the Netherlands net value team; Jianchao Quan and Carmen Ng from Hong Kong University; Daejung Kim from the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA); Taehoon Lee, Eun Sil Yoon, and Hongsoo Kim from SNU; Piya Hanvoravongchai from Chulalongkorn University; and Gregory Ang from National University of Singapore. Remote participants included Vismanathan Baskar from Madras Diabetes Research Foundation; Wasin Laohavinij from Chulalongkorn University (visiting Stanford University autumn quarter); and Rachel Lu from Chang Gung University.

Mt. Hood Diabetes Challenge Workshop on Diabetes Modeling

Philip Clarke from the Health Economics Research Center, University of Oxford, presented the history of insulin as a cure for diabetes and discussed in detail methods for economic modeling of diabetes, including quality of life and diabetes cost, drawing from his rich experience developing the UK Prospective Diabetes Study outcomes model. The second presenter was Andrew Palmer of University of Tasmania, Australia. His presentation included many additional economic modeling pointers, especially regarding drawing in the literature for building models.

Collage of three photos showing people posing to the camera and seated in a lecture hall
Karen Eggleston with participants at the Mt. Hood Diabetes Challenge Workshop; (right hand side) from left to right: Andrew Palmer, Karen Eggleston, Philip Clarke.

We are grateful to Professors Clarke and Palmer for graciously allowing the AHPP network researchers to join the workshop both in person and remotely, adding to their chronic disease modeling skills, and for inviting Karen Eggleston to present a keynote at the Mt Hood conference that took place before the modeling workshop.

Information Session: Comparative Economics Research on Diabetes

The third and final component of the diabetes research events was held on December 5 as part of the International Diabetes Federation congress in Busan, Korea, and presented the network to clinicians and public health researchers. Participants from China, India, and Australia attended. They shared updates on their individual projects and discussed methods and ideas for future collaboration.