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Systems Medicine and Healthcare Systems

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.

Systems Medicine

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.

 

Felix TretterProf. 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. felix.tretter@bcsss.org

 

Bertalanffy Lecture 2016: “Complex Systems Perspective in Neuroscience – historical and current approaches“ by Prof. Péter Érdi

The Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science welcomes the renowned expert Prof. Péter Érdi and invites you to join us for the next event of the BCSSS Lecture Series 2016 in Systems Medicine and Healthcare Systems on Thursday, 22 September 2016, 6 pm at the Bertalanffy Center for the…

Vienna 2016 | Workshop | Systems Medicine | Systemökologie der Ernährung

Felix Tretter: „Systemökologie der Ernährung“ Am Donnerstag, den 31. März und Freitag, den 1. April 2016 fand im Department Sozialökonomie der WU Wien ein BCSSS Workshop des Arbeitsfeldes Systems Medicine statt, organisiert und geleitet von Felix Tretter (BCSSS). Diskutiert wurden Fragen zu Systemtheorie, Ernährungsökologie und Sozialökologie. Bei dem Workshop wurde…

“Homo informaticus” expert talk at Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung in Munich

On Tuesday, 15 March 2016, the Bavarian Hanns Seidel Stiftung hosts expert talks on the conception of man in the information society. After serving on the programme committees of interdisciplinary conferences at the University of Vienna that discussed several conceptions like “homo economicus” or “homo ecologicus”, Felix Tretter is to give…

The BCSSS Lecture Series in „Systems Science and Medicine“ continues with Evolutionary Medicine and Systemic Holistic Medicine

We cordially invite you to join the next event of the BCSSS lecture series „Systems Science and Medicine“: Prof. Dr. Detlev Ganten, Charité Berlin presents on Thursday, November 19th 2015, 6pm his findings on Evolutionäre Medizin und systemische ganzheitliche Medizin (lecture in German), Hörsaal Institut f. Hygiene, Medizinische Universität, Kinderspitalgasse…

The BCSSS Lecture Series in Systems Science and Medicine continues with Managing Healthcare Systems

Since the beginning of this year we are organizing a lecture series at Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS, 1040 Vienna, Paulanerg. 13) on the contribution of Systems Science to the understanding of disease in the sense of the emerging “Systems Medicine”. The talks are aimed at…

BCSSS Lecture Series “Systems Science and Medicine”: Diseases in the human interactome

The Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science heartly welcomes Dr. Jörg Menche on Friday, April 24th 2015 at 2pm, Paulanergasse 13/5, 1040 Vienna, Austria, with his contribution “Diseases in the human interactome” to the BCSSS Lecture Series on Systems Science and Medicine. Dr. Menche is a postdoctoral fellow…

Bertalanffy Lecture 2014: “Systems Medicine” by Prof. Dr.Dr.Dr. Felix Tretter

The Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science welcomes the renowned expert Felix Tretter and invites you to join us for the Bertalanffy Lecture 2014 on Systems Medicine on Friday, 19 December 2014, 15:00 at the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science, Paulanergasse 13/5, 1040 Vienna, Austria. The…