Dr. Finkelstein is Professor of Health Services and Systems Research at the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore and the Executive Director of the Lien Centre for Palliative Care. He also holds appointments at NUS School of Public Health and Duke University Global Health Institute. His research focuses on the economic causes and consequences of health behaviors, with a primary emphasis on the use of traditional and behavioral economic incentives to influence behaviors in ways to improve the public’s health. Recent research also focuses on studies to better understand the complicated decisions that revolve around end of life care. He has published over 300 manuscripts and 2 books in these areas, and also successfully commercialized an Obesity Cost Calculator for employers and insurers. Based on google scholar, he has an h-index of 71, i10-index of 216 and his publications have been cited over 100,000 times, including in the landmark Supreme Court decision upholding the U.S. Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). He was included in the list of the World's Most Highly Cited Researchers in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics and among the Top 2% of scientists worldwide in a study by Stanford University in 2021.
His main areas of health economics research include:
- Health Technology Assessments and Cost-effectiveness Analyses
- Behavioural Trials of Public Health Interventions, including economic incentives
- Preference Assessments using state-of-the-art techniques
The health technology assessment research applies economic evaluation frameworks to both clinical and public health interventions. Recent examples include burden of illness studies for migraine and asthma in Singapore, cost-effectiveness evaluations of weight loss medications, new treatments for diabetic retinopathy, and a community hypertension trial in Nepal. The behavioural trials aim to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to improve public health. Through a series of trials, Prof Finkelstein’s team tested different types of incentives to improve physical activity and weight loss, and most recently developed an on-line grocery to test a series of pricing and information strategies aimed to improve diet quality. Their preference work uses discrete choice experiments and other methods to understand the value of new technologies and the extent consumers are willing to trade off various features, both positive and negative, of an intervention. Studies focus on trade-offs between efficacy, safety, and costs but a special emphasis focuses on preferences for end of life care and the extent to which people are willing to trade off quality for quantity of life.
As Executive Director of the Lien Centre for Palliative Care, Dr. Finkelstein leads a team of roughly 40 individuals, including 5 faculty, who focus on research and education related to the complicated decisions around end of life care.
Asst Prof Irene Teo
Asst Prof Semra Ozdemir