A Pioneering Idea

Founders Mark Speers and Paula Ness Speers started their consulting careers at Bain & Company, where Mark was a Partner in the Healthcare Practice and Paula led the R&D Practice. They often met with senior executives of innovative healthcare companies, but were constrained by the lack of broad and deep information resources and staff with clinical and scientific expertise to cost-effectively assist these executives with truly customized and innovative strategic insights. In 1992, Mark and Paula decided to devote the rest of their careers to filling this critical gap in strategy consulting services for the healthcare industry by founding Health Advances.

Expanding Our Capabilities

In the ensuing years, Health Advances invested heavily in its infrastructure. It has built a world-class healthcare Knowledge Management center so that staff can readily access carefully vetted global resources. In addition, it has continually added consulting team members with strong medical, clinical, and business training, as well as extensive work experience in the healthcare field. Professional development continues to be a high priority and contributes to the firm’s industry-leading retention rates.

In 2008, Health Advances established an office in San Francisco in order to better serve the innovative biotech, medical device, and diagnostic companies on the West Coast. It then established an office in Zug, Switzerland to conduct work more expeditiously in Europe and hire a team of European nationals with strong language skills and an intimate knowledge of the major healthcare systems in Europe. The 2019 opening of an office in Hong Kong helps both local and multi-national companies looking to expand their global footprint.

In 2014, the firm promoted Sheela Hegde, Vivek Mittal, and Susan Posner, long-time employees and industry thought leaders, to Partner. Since then the Partner group has been augmented with Health Advances and industry veterans to lead our practices in biopharma, medical devices, diagnostics and health IT/digital health. In addition to our Partners, Health Advances has a second-to-none set of industry leaders and experts among our leadership team.

Health Advances Today

Now in its third decade, Health Advances continues its strong record of growth. We advise both small and large healthcare companies around the world, with a staff of over 170 professionals, and offices in Boston, San Francisco, Zug (Switzerland), and Hong Kong. We have worked with more than 1,000 companies and investors on more than 3,100 assignments.

In early 2016, Health Advances was acquired by Parexel International Corporation (www.parexel.com), a professional services organization providing complementary services to its clients. Health Advances operates as an independent operating unit of Parexel while taking advantage of its new colleagues and capabilities when clients can benefit. For instance, Health Advances can draw upon Parexel’s deep understanding of regulatory processes around the globe, the costs and risks of clinical trials, and market-specific expertise resident in over 80 countries.