There has been legitimate criticism with regard to the quality and the transparency of health economic modelling studies. For that reason, the aim of the PROSIT Disease Modelling Community is to develop transparent open source health economic disease models for diabetes mellitus. Results: Markov type models were developed in the open source spread sheet software OpenOffice Calc for myocardial infarction, stroke, retinopathy, nephropathy, diabetic foot syndrome, and hypoglycemia. The basic concept is to describe a disease as a cascade of disease states with transitions between them. The transition probability is based on time, gender, age, disease related risks and medical interventions. An internet platform hosts the models and the documentation for public download. Incidence rates of complications were derived from population data and clinical studies. The models have to be adapted according to the specific needs and type of health economic analysis. The software is prepared to allow validation and model testing. The PROSIT Disease Modelling Community with its Markov models for diabetes mellitus suggests a new approach and methodology for developing health economic disease models in a transparent and sustainable manner. Going open source with disease models could overcome the lack in credibility that hampers modelling based health economic studies.
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