Lesson 1, Topic 1
Topic 1: Defining Mathematical Models And Their Uses
Topic 1: Defining Mathematical Models and their Uses
Click on the introduction video.
Mathematical models have many uses in public health. Click on each icon to learn about the role of mathematical models.
Understand the spread of diseases or the future course of an outbreak
Mathematical models can help us to understand how a disease is spread. They can help us anticipate the future course of an outbreak to better understand the potential impact in terms of how much of a population could potentially become infected. Models can also help us understand more about particular groups of people, for example who might be at greatest risk for contracting HIV or COVID-19.
Evaluate the impact of public health interventions
Models have been used to determine the impact of HIV prevention interventions and answer questions about their future impact. Mathematical models do not predict the future, but they can help us understand what might happen in a given scenario.
Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of public health interventions
Cost-effectiveness is an estimation of the value for money of an intervention. Determining the cost-effectiveness of interventions can help us choose interventions or programs that will maximize health for the available resources. Cost-effectiveness will be discussed in greater detail in Lesson 2.