Covid-19 Simulation of Epidemic


COVID-19 - Overview

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented challenged to decision makers in politics and the health care system. The primary goal was to keep the number of critical cases below the limits of the health care system, and hence ensure medical care for the population. To achieve this extreme measures up to a total lockdown have been taken - with corresponding social and economic side effects.

Due to its expertise and long-lasting research, in cooperation with TU Wien and the research platform DEXHELPP, dwh GmbH has the tools (amongst others GEPOC and the ABT-framework) and the know-how to evaluate the efficiency and effects of single measures as well as of packages of countermeasures. It is also possible to also calculate their impact on the health care system to assess the limits of resources. Thanks to this expertise Austrian decision makers were provided with a solid basis for their decisions.


Due to the high number of enquiries surrounding the COVID-19 coverage, we have started a COVID-19 blog. This is intended less as a regular diary, but as a place where we try to explain topics around the epidemic, the measures, and the numbers behind them.

Research projects, advisory activity and disclosure

Research projects

Advisory activity


dwh GmbH, DEXHELPP and the research team “Modeling and Simulation” at the Vienna University of Technology, continuously collaborate in research and industry projects with different organizations and companies. In the field of health care, this involves method development, as well as analysis and modeling of medical interventions.

In the last three years, these were the following companies (in alphabetical order): Abbvie (Health Economic Evaluation), Akribes (Database Development), BMSGPK (Epidemic Modeling, Intervention Scenarios), Dachverband der österr. Sozialversicherungen (DEXHELPP COMET project), E+E (Artificial Intelligence/Image Recognition), Energy3000 (Prognosis Models), Gemeinde Wien (Logistics Modeling), Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (Epidemic Modeling, Intervention Scenarios), Gruber Debong GmbH (Patient Care Modeling), IHS (epidemic modeling), IMEPHS (DEXHELPP COMET project), Land Oberösterreich (epidemic modeling), Lenzing (epidemic modeling), Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for HTA (DEXHELPP COMET project), Medical University of Vienna (physiological modeling), MSD (Analysis Dashboard Development, Compliance Analysis), Niederösterreichische Landesgesundheitsagentur (Resource Modeling), ÖBB (Modeling, Optimization), OnSight (Artificial Intelligence), ORF (Data Journalism), PremiQaMed (Infrastructure & Process Modeling), Synthesis (DEXHELPP COMET project), Verband der Privatkrankenanstalten (Workshop Modellierung), Tamirna (cost-benefit evaluation of clinical trials), Wiener Gesundheitsverbund (epidemic modeling, intervention scenarios), as well as other research institutions within funded research collaborations. Niki Popper is co-founder, co-owner and CSO of dwh GmbH, and board member of DEXHELPP.

He has given talks and keynotes at the following organizers over the past three years (in chronological order): Ärztekammer für Wien, Binder Grösswang, Infineon, Internationale Akademie Traunkirchen, ORS Group, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Infektionskrankheiten und Tropenmedizin (Event was sponsored by AstraZeneca and Glaxo SmithKline), Palfinger AG, Roche Pop-up Lounge, SORA.

  • With ** marked lectures took place as information & knowledge transfer, for this no fee was charged.
  • Marked with * are those lectures that were given for a fee.
  • Without marking are scientific or public-general educational lectures.

For further questions in this regard, please feel free to contact us.

Documents and scientific publications

Scientific publications

Without Preprint

  • Lepping J., Wolfinger D., Doerner K., Gansterer M., Bicher M., Popper N. “The Contagious Disease Testing Problem – A scenario analysis”. To be published in the Conference Proceedings of the OR2021.
  • Bicher “An Iterative Algorithm for Optimizing COVID-19 Vaccination Strategies Considering Unknown Supply”. Soon to appear in PLOS ONE
  • F. Gigler, C. Urach, M. Bicher, “Contact Tracing for Disease Containment: a Network-Based Analysis” to be presented at MATHMOD 2022 and published in IFAC Papers Online
  • M. Bicher, C. Rippinger, N. Popper, “Time Dynamics of the Spread of Virus Mutants with Increased Infectiousness in Austria” to be presented at MATHMOD 2022 and published in IFAC Papers Online

Technical documents, further information and resources

Technical Description of Simulation Model and Parameters

Relevant scientific preliminary work

As a decision support service provider in Health Technology Assessment (amongst other areas), dwh GmbH has been supporting a broad spectrum of stakeholders for more than ten years. These stakeholders range from the Ministry of Health to the umbrella organisation of the Austrian social security to various hospital operators. Within the framework of the incubators INITS and Health Hub Vienna, dwh GmbH supports national and international start ups in the evaluation of their innovations for the health care system. Projects range from the analysis of new interventions and therapies to the question of organisational processes in the health care system and the evaluation of new e-health applications.

A selection of preliminary work relevant for the simulation of COVID-19 are the evaluation reports on measles- and polio vaccination rates for the Ministry of Health since 2015, which are the basis for the reference values reported to the WHO. Modelling and simulation of epidemics and the evaluation of appropriate measures and vaccination strategies have been a focus of dwh GmbH since 2010. Examples are projects on influenza and pneumococcus, as well as projects on Dengue Fever (see publication below).

The expertise of dwh GmbH is also recognized and appreciated in the scientific environment. Under the direction of dwh GmbH a large number of cooperative research projects have been implemented. IFEDH with nine further partners from economy and science, then DEXHELPP. dwh GmbH has been working for many years with AIHTA (formerly LBI-HTA), Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG), Federation of Social Insurances, the Ministry of Health, and many other partners.

Niki Popper, CSO of dwh GmbH, is among others Founding President of the ISPOR Austrian Chapter, and Reviewer at SMDM Modelling Good Research Practice. He is a member of the board of the ASIM, the German-speaking simulation society, where he is in charge of the area ‘Fundamentals and Methods’, he is General Secretary of EUROSIM, the Federation of European Simulation Societies, and coordinator of its Technical Committee ‘Data Driven System Simulation’. He is also chairman of the research platform DEXHELPP, of which dwh GmbH is a founding member. This research project, originally funded by the FFG-program COMET, aims at the development of new methods, models and technologies to support the analysis, planning and control of health care systems based on data and evidence.

Publication of preliminary work

Media coverage

Keynotes, lectures & discussions

Press releases

In the media


The statement by Niki Popper (from this WWTF-talk) focused on the exclusive effect of the vaccination at the time of re-opening. I.e. until re-opening at May 15th the effect of vaccination alone is not enough to justify re-opening. Though the combination of all reducing effects allows for a positive perspective.