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Boston Healthcare Associates Roundtable Explores Challenges and Opportunities Surrounding the Value of Big Data within the Life Sciences

BOSTON, May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Boston Healthcare Associates hosted a roundtable May 16th to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities surrounding the growing volume of big data in the life sciences and how best to utilize its full potential. "Big data" being defined as large sets of data whose size exceeds conventional abilities for effective capture, storage, and analysis.

The increasing volume of life science and health care data offers exciting opportunities for innovators, manufacturers, stakeholders, providers, and patients - but it also poses new challenges. The rising torrent of big data is currently revolutionary in its volume, variety, and potential value. However, the rapid expansion of data, by people and machines, as well as a need for new resources and structures for storage and interpretation, is adding more and more complexity to the task of trying to effectively aggregate and leverage information into actionable insights.   

The roundtable discussed these issues as well as the emerging importance of big data and its potential implications on innovation. Several questions were addressed including: What is unique about big data within the life sciences? Who should have access and control? How should we address patient consent? Will big data drive change in policy/regulation, and ultimately science? What type of investments and resources are needed? What new insights will be drawn? And how quickly will those insights drive real-time decision-making?

"We've entered an era of information explosion in which our capacity to generate data is exceeding our ability to store, process, and use it," said Andrew Ferrara, CEO of Boston Healthcare Associates. "Aggregating and processing this data into meaningful information is key to driving better decisions and swifter outcomes in innovation - translating to better care for patients."

Today's roundtable included a cross-disciplinary group of life science leaders, all working at the forefront of innovation:

  • Andrew Ferrara, CEO, Boston Healthcare
  • Christopher Twardowski, Director Client Services, Boston Healthcare
  • Andrew Tarab, Director Health Economics, Boston Healthcare
  • Dr. Ulrich Goldmann, Senior Vice President, Global Medical Operations, Genzyme, a Sanofi company
  • Michael Braxenthaler, President of Pistoia Alliance; Strategic Alliances, Pharma Research & Early Development Informatics, Roche
  • Dr. Jens Hoefkens, Head of Genedata Expressionist Unit, Genedata
  • Christopher McClure, Business Development & Account Management, Genedata
  • Melli Annamalai, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle Database Server Technologies
  • Dave Greenwald, Managing Director, Relay Technology Management
  • Richard Dale, Principal, Sigma Partners

A summary of the roundtable meeting discussion is available for download here.

About Boston Healthcare Associates

Boston Healthcare assists emerging and established biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic companies worldwide in gaining a competitive advantage in the health care marketplace by helping them unlock the value of their innovations. These companies rely on Boston Healthcare to create opportunities, navigate complexity, grow their businesses, and achieve objectives through reimbursement and market access strategy services, health economics and outcomes research, market analytics and pricing strategy, and business development support services. Clients draw on Boston Healthcare's unique approach to gain a real-world edge in a highly competitive health care environment. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Michal Taton Boston Healthcare, 617-912-5119,

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