Addressing Deadly Hepatitis B: UCSD Research using @RISK and PrecisionTree Informs Public Health Policy

UCSD Research uses @RISK and PrecisionTree Informs Public Health Policy

The Hepatitis B virus is 100 times more infectious than HIV, and kills more than 780,000 people each year. It can cause a potentially life-threatening liver infection often leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. It’s also preventable with a series of vaccinations. Yet throughout the past 30 years, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) had calculated the societal cost-benefits of universal Hepatitis B screening, and found that screening the entire US population was not worth the cost.

Dr. John Fontanesi, Director of the Center for Management Science in Health at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and his team of researchers led by Dr. Robert Gish, M.D., have helped to change this policy. After dedicated field work, @RISK modeling, and PrecisionTree analysis, the researchers found that, rather than screening the entire US population, targeting key at-risk groups would indeed result in worthwhile health outcomes.

The research team knew that in some Asian immigrant communities, the rate of Hepatitis B infection can be as high as 16-18%. They studied two very different groups of Asian immigrant communities: one made up of university students and faculty with relatively high socioeconomic status; the other made up of Laotian and Hmong and Vietnamese immigrants with lower socioeconomic status. Using Palisade software, the researchers determined which type of screening test to administer, and what location was most effective (e.g. health clinic versus community event), when considering widely different segments of the Asian immigrant population.

Dr. Fontanesi’s findings have spurred the USPSTF to re-write their recommendation to include targeted screening of Hepatitis B in certain Asian communities and populations.

 » Read the full case study
 » More about @RISK
 » More about PrecisionTree

@RISKWhen you’re trying to communicate
     statistics to the medical community,
     people can get lost, but if you show
     them @RISK, they get it instantly; that
     visual representation is so much more
     powerful than written text or a table of
Trial Versions

                        Dr. John Fontanesi, Director of the Center for
                        Management Science in Health at University of
                        California San Diego School of Medicine

Licensing Options

There are three easy ways to get the DecisionTools Suite for your students:


Course Licenses available from Palisade. These are economical, annually renewing bulk licenses for both
network lab and laptop installation. Palisade offers a complimentary Live Web Training session to all instructors who order a Course License.
» Learn more

Student Versions from Palisade. These are 12-month versions available for purchase individually by students through either the Palisade web site or the school store.
» Learn more

Textbook Editions available bundled with textbooks.
These are time- and model-limited licenses.
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Get DecisionTools Suite 6 for your course by contacting:

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Teaching Tips & Examples

The DecisionTools Suite is a great way to present quantitative techniques in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way for students.

A Not-So Random Walk
Excerpted from @RISK Bank Credit and Financial Analysis,
by Roy Nersesian, published by Palisade Corp.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel caused quite a stir when first published. It basically concluded that throwing darts at stock listings in the Wall Street Journal to select a portfolio would most probably result in investment performance at par with a professional manager. Thus fundamental knowledge about an industry and companies within that industry was of little or no help in selecting a stock portfolio or in predicting the future price of a stock or a commodity or interest rates or anything else. The example model associated with this Teaching Tip describes a not-so random walk model because limits are going to be placed on how high prices can rise and how low prices can fall. Volatility will be obtained from past price fluctuations and @RISK and RISKOptimizer will be used to provide evidence, not proof, that modeling future prices with a normal distribution may actually underestimate risk.

» Download example file and view step-by-step instructions

Tech Tip of the Month

Sharing @RISK Models with Colleagues Who Don't Have @RISK

I have @RISK for Excel. I would like to ship my worksheet with results to a colleague who has Excel but not @RISK. Can I do this?

If you have @RISK 5.0 or later, your colleague doesn't need any special software. The Swap Out Functions feature makes it very easy to share workbooks with colleagues who don't have @RISK.

  • In @RISK 6.x, click Utilities » Swap Out Functions.
  • In @RISK 5.x, click on the "Swap @RISK Functions" or "Swap Functions" icon toward the end of the ribbon (@ with a / through it, or the @RISK orb logo in front of a worksheet grid).

After you swap out functions, the @RISK functions are all replaced with numbers. Save your workbook, and your colleague can view it in Excel with no need for other software. (This replaces the Spreadsheet Viewer that was used with @RISK 4.x.)

When you reopen the workbook, the functions should be swapped back in automatically. If you have an earlier version of @RISK and you'd like to use this feature, please contact your Palisade sales manager to obtain the current version.

» Learn more in Palisade's Knowledge Base

Featured White Paper

The DecisionTools Suite is part of complex analyses published in white papers.

Quantitative risk assessment for Listeria monocytogenes in smoked or gravad salmon and rainbow trout in Sweden
Roland Lindqvist , Anna Westöö
International Journal of Food Microbiology 58 (2000) 181–196

The objective of this paper was to develop a quantitative risk assessment model in which the exposure and risk of acquiring listeriosis from consumption of packaged smoked or gravad salmon and rainbow trout were estimated. An Excel spreadsheet model was constructed in which variables were represented by distributions based on surveys of L. monocytogenes in these food products, and on demographic and consumption data. The model was run through Monte Carlo simulations using @RISK.

Palisade  Read the full paper here


The Academic Global Leader in
Risk and Decision Analysis
Palisade is the world’s leading provider of risk and decision analysis software and solutions. Founded in 1984, its products @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite are used by over 95% of the Fortune 100, in nearly every industry around the world. Palisade is headquartered in New York State, and has offices in London, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.

What is The DecisionTools Suite?
The DecisionTools Suite is the world’s only integrated set of risk and decision analysis programs. The Suite includes @RISK for Monte Carlo simulation, PrecisionTree for decision trees, and TopRank for “what if” sensitivity analysis. In addition, DecisionTools Suite comes with StatTools for statistical analysis and forecasting, NeuralTools for predictive neural networks, and Evolver and RISKOptimizer for optimization. All programs work together seamlessly, and all integrate completely with Microsoft Excel for ease of use and maximum flexibility.

The Suite is offered in three affordable and flexible licensing options for those in academia: Student Versions, Course Licenses and Full Academic Versions.

» Schools using Palisade software
Textbooks using Palisade software

In This Issue

» UCSD uses @RISK and
   PrecisionTree to address
   deadly Hepatitis B

» Licensing Options

» Teaching Tips &

   A Not-So Random Walk

» Tech Tip
   Sharing @RISK Models
   with Colleagues Who Don't
   Have @RISK

» Featured White Paper
   Quantitative risk assessment
   for Listeria monocytogenes in
   smoked or gravad salmon
   and rainbow trout in Sweden

» About Palisade and the
   DecisionTools Suite

Keep in Touch

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2013 Palisade Risk Conferences
The 2014 Risk Conferences are "must attend" events for quantitative risk and decision analysis professionals. Join us for an intensive day of software training presented by Palisade trainers and consultants, and real-world case studies presented by industry experts.
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27-29 October 2014
Amsterdam, Netherlands

» Live Web Training
Decision-Making and Quantitative Risk Analysis
using @RISK

8-9 Oct, 1pm-5pm ET

Decision-Making and
Quantitative Risk Analysis
using DecisionTools Suite

20-21 Oct, 9am-1pm ET
3-4 Nov, 9am-1pm ET

Trial Versions

Palisade software is available in fully functional trial versions. Try @RISK or any of our software today!

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