The International Society For Pharmacoeconomics And Outcomes Research Examines The Role Of Big Data In Health Care Decision Making

Princeton, NJ, USA – Health care researchers, health technology assessors, manufacturers, governments, and patients will examine the role of “Big Data” in health care decision making at the ISPOR 19th Annual International Meeting. The meeting will take place May 31 – June 4, 2014 at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

The first plenary session, “The Use of “Big Data” – Where Are We and What Does the Future Hold?” will focus on methodological approaches to the analysis of big data and consider how these approaches deal with issues of data quality and data completeness, and the implications for the confidence in the conclusions drawn from such analyses. David R. Holmes III, PhD, Biomedical Imaging at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine will present graph databases and graph analytics methodological approaches to analyze big data and their use in health care decisions. William H. Crown, PhD, 2013-2014 ISPOR President and Chief Scientific Officer of Optum Labs, will compare these methods to traditional methods and emphasize the importance of using statistical caution when using big data. Lesley H. Curtis, PhD, Professor in Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine will provide a comparison of these methods from a researcher’s perspective.

In the second plenary session, “What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Observational Data as the Basis of Decision Making in Health Care? How Could This Affect the Future of Randomized Controlled Trials?” the arguments of randomized clinical trials versus ‘real world’ observational studies (internal/external validity, bias) will be debated, with the focus on the use of observational data (administrative data as well as prospective observational data) studies in health care decision making. David Sackett, MD, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McMaster University will question whether or not it is time to retire the randomized clinical trial (RCT), and Allan M. Korn, MD, Chief Medical Officer Emeritus at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) will emphasize the limitations of RCTs and the benefits of observational study data for health care decisions in the real world. David Henry, MB ChB, Senior Scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute will present on the use of observational studies to estimate benefits and harms of health care interventions.

In the third plenary session, “To What Extent Should Value for Money Derived from Health Economic Analysis Be Used in Health Care Policy Decision Making?” the pros and cons of the different types of economic analyses currently used to determine value for money, as well as ethical issues, will be debated by Tony Culyer, CBE, Ontario Research Chair in Health Policy and System Design at the University of Toronto; Colleen M. Flood, LLM, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Toronto; and the Honourable Minister Fred Horne, Government of Alberta, Ministry of Health.

Additional highlighted sessions include:

The ISPOR 19th Annual International Meeting will feature over 1,700 presentations and a record-breaking attendance of over 3,300 health payers, decision makers, technology assessors, regulators and governing bodies from around the world.

To register for the ISPOR 19th Annual International Meeting, please visit:

Keep up with meeting events by following @ISPORorg on Twitter: #ISPORMontreal.


The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) ( is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health. Media Contact: Danielle Mroz, MA, Director, Communications, ISPOR (

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