David M. Eddy

For other people named David Eddy, see, see David Eddy.

David M. Eddy (born 1941), M.D., Ph.D., is the founder and medical director of Archimedes, a healthcare modeling company located in San Francisco, California. He is regarded as an expert on medical decision-making and the use of computer models to predict the effectiveness of treatment.[1]


David Eddy received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Stanford University in 1964. He went on to receive his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1968, and then in 1978 received a Ph.D. from Stanford University, in Engineering-Economic Systems (Applied Mathematics).


Eddy started out as an General Surgery intern at Stanford University Medical Center in 1968. He then became a Resident and Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Cardiovascular Surgery from 1969 to 1971. He spent 2 years as chief of the US Army Medical Research and Development Command's (USAMRDC) Bioengineering Research Branch. After completing his PHD, he briefly returned to Stanford University as a Professor in the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems in 1980.

In 1981, Eddy moved to Duke University, where he was a Professor of Health Policy and Management until 1995. During this time, he was named Special White House Employee for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Health Care Task Force.[2]

In 1991, he joined the not-for-profit managed-care organization Kaiser Permanente of Southern California as the Senior Advisor for Health Policy and Management. He became interested in developing computer models to predict the effects of various treatment regimens on patient outcomes. One validation of his system was published in October 2009 in The American Journal of Managed Care; in it, the model's preferred regimen of a simple treatment for patients with diabetes or heart disease proved to be more effective than the then-standard treatment with an expensive drug.[3]

In January 2006, Eddy, along with Leonard Schlessinger, PhD moved from Kaiser Permanente to form the privately owned company Archimedes, Inc.

Archimedes, Inc

Archimedes' main business involves using their proprietary software, the Archimedes Model, for medical testing instead of patient trials. The model enables clients to simulate clinical trials and compare clinical and economic benefits between drugs and standard treatments in various patient populations.[4] The company's staff includes scientists, physicians and software engineers.[5]

The Archimedes Model is now being used by health plans, pharmaceutical companies, governmental agencies and others to address issues relating to new tests and treatments, guidelines, performance, incentives, and financing.[6] It is also being applied to guide individual patient care.[7]

Archimedes’ clients include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, Eli Lilly and Company, Myriad Genetics and GlaxoSmithKline.[8]

The model uses object-oriented programming and runs on a distributed computing network. At its core are hundreds of ordinary and differential equations that represent human physiology and the effects of diseases.[9]

Archimedes validates the model by running simulations of actual clinical trials and then comparing the results of the simulation with those of the real-world trial.[9] To date, more than 50 clinical trials have been used to validate the model.

According to Richard Kahn, then-chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association, the Archimedes Model, "...is at least ten times better than the model we use now, which is called thinking.[9]



  • 1984 Conley Award—Runner-up, awarded by the American College of Hospital Administrators for the best article published during the year
  • 1991 FHP Prize Given for the development of FAST*PRO and the Confidence Profile Method for synthesizing evidence.


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