The Archimedes story began in 1992 when David Eddy, MD PhD, then a consultant to the Southern California region of Kaiser Permanente (KPSC), approached the clinical and health plan leaders of KPSC, Frank Murray and Hugh Jones, with the idea of building a clinically realistic, large scale simulation model of physiology, populations, and health care systems. The objective was to provide decision makers at KPSC with quantitative information about the outcomes they could expect from different clinical and administrative policies and programs.
From his past experience building models, Eddy knew that a fundamentally different type of healthcare model would be needed. Frank Murray and Hugh Jones saw the value of the idea and committed the funds. Shortly thereafter Len Schlessinger, PhD, was recruited to put together a small team to begin building the model.
It took several years to develop and test a new modeling method capable of achieving the level of detail and scope required to address the types of questions that arise in real clinical settings. A critical moment came in 2000 when the model was sufficiently well developed to set up to simulate real clinical trials.
The model produced results in the virtual world that were surprisingly close to the results actually observed in the real world. Recognizing that the model had wide application across the regions, KP’s central office then transferred the program to the KP Care Management Institute where the model was expanded and applied to a wide variety of problems across the KP regions.
The model was first used outside of KP in 2001, when a collaboration was created with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). The first project was to validate the model against a larger number of trials. The ADA convened an independent advisory board of eminent physicians and researchers to suggest appropriate trials for validations, and review the results of the validations.
The validations were successful. In February 2002, a technical description of the model was published in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics (“Archimedes: A New Model for Simulating Health Care”), and a few years later a clinical description of the diabetes portion of the model, and the results of the ADA/BMS validations were published in two papers in Diabetes Care. These publications brought the work to the attention of a wider audience, and KP appreciated that the model could provide value to many other organizations, both public and private.
In 2004 they made the program an independent unit and elevated it within KP, and then in 2006 spun it out as a stand-alone company. John Beasley was hired as the CEO. Under his executive leadership, and with the ongoing vision and skills of the co-founders – Eddy and Schlessinger -- the company rapidly expanded and attracted top-level clients.
In 2007 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded Archimedes a $15.6M grant to make the power of the Archimedes Model accessible to a wider range health policy and healthcare decision makers, more rapidly and less expensively than had been possible in the past.
In 2014, Archimedes was acquired by Evidera, Inc., a leading provider of evidence-based solutions for the healthcare industry. Along with the existing team of scientists, medical directors, and software engineers, this acquisition provided additional resources and expertise to continually update the Model, expand it to other disease areas, and enhance overall capabilities with Evidera’s core service areas, including health economics, outcomes research, market access, payer research, data analytics and epidemiology. Joining Evidera has also expanded the opportunity to serve our clients on a broader international scope.