Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Good value

Earlier today we had our workshop on the Value of Information at the Ispor conference. I think it went well $-$ I counted about 80 people in the room, which was a big turnout, I think (I lost count three times, so I am not actually sure about the number, but this should be just about right). We had prepared some contingency plan to foster the discussion in case people just stared at their feet, but we didn't need to resort to them, as there were a few good comments and questions, so we were quite pleased.

In comparison to other times I've been to Ispor, I think that there have been quite a few interesting sessions, so that's nice too. And the weather in Milan is ridiculously good $-$ I had to chuck away my jacket and jumper for the whole time. On the negative side, I thought that the venue wasn't super $-$ both as in doesn't look particularly nice and is kind of inefficient (with no computer plugs apart from a few stands that look like ice-cream carts with cables to charge your phone and tablets, but not laptops I think, that you would have to fight over with the other 2 million delegates)...

Saturday, 7 November 2015

More on stepped wedge

A couple of months back I talked at the launch of the Trial series on the Stepped Wedge Designed, on which I have worked together with a number of colleagues at UCL and LSHTMJennifer, who's one of the authors of the series and is doing her PhD on this topic, has also posted on the LSTHM blog to report her impressions of the day (all of which I agree with, apart from the typo in spelling my name!).

Related to this, we are getting very close to also releasing our R package SWSamp (I know $-$ the page is empty at the moment, but we're working on it...). This basically started when we were working on our SW paper and back the code was fairly specific to my immediate objective (simulation-based sample size calculations for a SW trial). I think this is kind of obvious, may be, certainly it happens all the time with me $-$ even BCEA has had a very similar inception and then development into something that is a lot more structured.

However, I think now I've become much better at writing R code (NB: this doesn't necessarily mean that I've become good at that $-$ just much better than, for example, when I started writing BCEA) and so I think we're including a lot more functionalities in
SWSamp. For example, we're working to have very generic functions that can handle simulation based sample size calculations for many types of designs $-$ so kind of over and above the SWT.

We should be able to have some beta-release out very soon!

Milano 2

I'm not talking about this, but rather the curious, I'd say, coincidence that brings me to Milan for the second time in a matter of 4/5 months for a health economics conference. Back in July, I went to iHEA, which, by and large, was a very good conference. Tomorrow I'll go again for Ispor. On Tuesday, I'll be presenting in a workshop on Value of Information (ours is W13 on this page), together with Mark, Nicky and Anna