Systems science applications in medicine are known since the 1950s when Ludwig von Bertalanffy was founding his general theory of living systems. At present, by new technological and formal methods in modern biology and medicine this perspective gets new support.
The emerging field of Systems Medicine aims at a systemic understanding of health and disease on the basis of complex molecular data sets that are obtained by high-throughput technologies and that are analyzed by mathematical tools of complexity research. These new approaches promise better diagnosis, treatments, predictions and preventions of diseases by personalized data and participation of the patient.
But not only systems thinking in medicine, also systems thinking of medicine is important: Beyond economic approaches the methodologies of systems analysis and systems design are useful tools for the structural and functional analysis as well as the transformation of health care systems.
Maintenance of health and the development of diseases are the result of complex dynamic interactions. Systems Medicine is the application of systems biology approaches to medical research and medical practice. Its objective is to integrate a variety of biological/medical data at all relevant levels of organization using the power of computational and mathematical modelling, from the level of inter- and intracellular molecular networks of the cell to the levels of the interdependence of humans and their environments.
As many side-effects of medications are caused by the linkage of different organ systems such as heart and lung, the immune system, endocrine system and nervous system, a new approach in medicine is necessary. These connections are statistically known as co-morbidity.
The first step towards systems medicine intended a better understanding of functions and dysfunctions of the organism by using computer simulations of cell and tissue processes. The connections can now be interpreted by such models that are based on data from inter- and intracellular molecular networks (cytokines, neurotransmitters, etc.).
Health Care Systems
At present, also clinical systems medicine is constituted that focusses on the interaction of organismic subsystems. Some protagonists call this the 4P medicine, for personalized (individual genome analysis), predictive, preventive and participative medicine (L. Hood, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle) to develop innovative therapies and tailored preventive treatments.
The future outlook is a scenario in which the health care system itself might change based on these findings. A complementary research focus of the Bertalanffy Center in Service Systems Design for large scale, multi-stakeholder complex social systems like health care might be the next promising step.
Prof. Dr.Dr.Dr. Felix Tretter is Professor for Clinical Psychology at the University of Munich and Vice-President of the Bavarian Academy of Addictions. Formerly he was Senior Physician of a Department for Addiction in a psychiatric hospital; his research interests are addiction, neurobiology, systems science, human ecology and philosophy. He studied Psychology, Medicine and Social Sciences at the University of Vienna and Munich and conducted experimental brain research for several years at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich. firstname.lastname@example.org
Evaluating Health-Related ICT (hICT)
The basic goal of the series of BCSSS Vice President Felix Tretter’s workshops on (human) digitization is to make cyber-systemic perspectives of living systems explicit. Health and the health care system are important issues in this context. The aim of the previous workshops (WS I-II) was to examine the epistemic…
Towards Organismic Systems Medicine
On 11 to 12 of April, BCSSS Vice President Felix Tretter invited a round of experts to discuss paths ‘Towards Organismic Systems Medicine’ in his function as a leader of the BCSSS Research Group ‘Systems Medicine and Health Care Systems’. In this workshop, the prevailing epistemology of molecular systems medicine…
The “Truth” about health and disease by Big Data
The aim of the workshop, which established further collaboration among the BCSSS network of experts by the invitation of Felix Tretter, was to find out the limits of truth production by big data regarding health issues. The workshop continued the work that was initiated at a basic workshop in October…
Guest Lecture on Systemic Psychology by Guido Strunk
Dipl.-Psych. Dr. phil. Dr. rer. pol. Guido Strunk gave a guest lecture on Systemic Psychology at the BCSSS on November 22nd 2018. He gave an insight to the complexity of human behaviour and human interaction. His book “Systemic Psychology – an Introduction to the Complex Basis of Human Behaviour” (2006)…
From mind to molecules and back to mind—Metatheoretical limits and options for systems neuropsychiatry
Felix Tretter, BCSSS Vice President, has recently published the paper “From mind to molecules and back to mind—Metatheoretical limits and options for systems neuropsychiatry” in the interdisciplinary journal of nonlinear science “Chaos“. Look into his insights on system psychology in the triangle of neurobiology, nonlinear science and psychology in the provided…
Formation of Systems through Synchrony in Theuraputic Interaction – Guest Lecture by Wolfgang Tschacher
Prof. Dr. phil Wolfgang Tschacher came to the BCSSS on October 25th and held a lecture on the Formation of Systems through Synchrony in Therapeutic Interaction. Wolfgang Tschacher is a pioneer of systemic thinking in the field of clinical psychology within and beyond the German speaking countries. Tschacher worked at the…
Big Data – Epistemological Requests of Systems Science
On October 10th and 11th in 2018 the BCSSS became a Big Data Hub, where about 15 people of different disciplines came together in order to critically assess the fundamental epistemological potential of Big Data. The event dealt with a philosophical oriented, multidisciplinary examination as an epistemology of Big Data….
BCSSS Member pitched Book on Transhuman: Biohackers and Immortalists at MIT Press Pitchfest
BCSSS member, Michele Battle-Fisher, was one of seven finalists to pitch a science and technology book idea at the first annual MIT Press Pitchfest, called the “Shark Tank” of book publishing. She competed for the chance to workshop her Transhuman book which is based on the in- production documentary, Transhuman:…
Subscribe to our Systems Newsletter
- Keynote at the invitation of CIRCULAR4.0 “The European Green Deal – Economic Potential for SMEs”
- Keynote address at the invitation of Energie Steiermark “Potentials of the Circular Economy”
- Expert interview with Circular Business Academy (CBA), Slovenia on the innovation potential of the circular economy for SMEs
- UNIDO: Global consultations on circular economy
- Mission Innovation Austria 2021: A platform for all drivers and shapers of innovation and the energy system of the future