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HIRGEV - Heat Resilient Health Care

Project Leader (of HIRGEV subproject within MODUS): Prof. Dr. Lars Grüne
Contact: Prof. Dr. Lars Grüne

Project start: 2024/02/01

Project team:

  • Prof. Dr. Lars Grüne
  • Dr. Michael H. Baumann
  • N.N. (postdoctoral researcher, to be hired in summer 2024)

External partner: The HIRGEV consortium led by Dr. Michael Lauerer, University of Bayreuth, funded by the Innovation Fund of the Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss (a committee of the public health insurance companies in Germany).

Project description: Climate change and the associated prolonged periods of heat and drought have a direct impact on health. High temperatures particularly strain the cardiovascular system and can worsen respiratory diseases, rheumatic complaints, or headaches and migraines. Consequently, there is an increased demand for medical care. The most vulnerable groups include older individuals, infants, pregnant women, people with chronic or mental illnesses, and those with disabilities. Currently, Germany is not adequately prepared to protect the population from intense heat and ensure appropriate healthcare.

In the HIRGEV project, a research group will examine the correlation between heat events and the frequency of illnesses, mortality, and the utilization of healthcare services to develop recommendations for suitable preventive and protective measures. The group aims to contribute to building a climate-resilient healthcare system in Germany. For the investigations, researchers integrate health and weather data in mathematical models and computer-based simulations, analyzing them separately for rural and urban areas to identify particularly vulnerable regions. Based on this data, the research team intends to forecast how climate changes will impact the health development of the German population until the year 2100. The team discusses its findings in workshops with experts and stakeholders from the healthcare sector to initiate data-driven care planning for heat resilience in the medium and long term. The project is funded for three years with a total of approximately 2.2 million euros.

In the event of success, the project will help develop region-specific strategies nationwide for dealing with heat in healthcare. This could reduce heat-related illness burden, prevent deaths, and make healthcare capacities more efficient.

The subproject of HIRGEV within MODUS, conducted by Prof. Dr. Lars Grüne and Dr. Michael H. Baumann, deals with the development of differential equation based models for the long term forecast of heat-induced illnesses.

Board of Directors: Prof. Dr. Jörg Rambau, Prof. Dr. Lars Grüne and Prof. Dr. Vadym Aizinger

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