Health 2.0 – Interview with Indu Subaiya

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Indu Subaiya

The third annual edition of the Health 2.0 conference was held on February 7 and 8 in Bangalore. The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Simply Lead’ and the agenda focused on the belief that we must reboot and reframe leadership for healthcare in the 21st century.

We had the chance to speak with the Co-founder and CEO of Health 2.0 conference, Indu Subaiya, an American entrepreneur born in Bangalore. Speaking about the event, she said, “Health 2.0 is a conference and a media company that I co-founded in 2006 with Matthew Holt. We began as a conference to showcase the most cutting edge technology in digital health. The first conference was in San Francisco in 2007 and since then Health 2.0 has grown to have chapter in over 75 cities around the world, where entrepreneurs are coming together to use technology and innovative ways to solve problems of modern times.” She has good experience in the sector and her role helped her get a global view of the healthcare ecosystem identifying new trends. “I think there are many health problems that we share around the world no matter what country or part of the world we live in. I think there is an increase demand among patient and consumers for more connection and engagement to their own health. And the healthcare system has to respond to this. We need to develop the tools and the mechanism to enable patient and consumers take charge of their own health. That’s a very common theme everywhere in the world. The technologies that are coming up to support patient engagement and consumer empowerment vary. It can be a device that you are wearing like fitness, or whether it is a way to sequence you own genome even before the doctors order it and things like that. Another trend is that the population is getting older especially in developed country (US for example) and this increases the number of people who are living with multiple chronic conditions. And I think again technology plays a role helping people manage this condition connect with them with their doctors, find the most appropriate treatments. I think while healthcare is different in different countries there is some common elements here that are really stimulating the digital technology ecosystem to respond. It’s exciting to be here in Health 2.0 India to understand how is the situation here,” says Indu.

In 7 years things have changed radically and remembering the first topic they were discussing when they just started she says “When Health 2.0 first started the types of technology that we were talking about have to do with online search like Google was coming into the business of health and Microsoft and they were launching some of the first specific health search engines. We also see the first patient community connecting online, where people with the same condition were connecting to others. It was mainly about websites, content and communities. Now of course, 7 years later we are talking about devices and sensor and data companies, not just through web application, but every aspect of life. That ahs been one of the most foundamental changes. There is a huge increasing in the amount of data you are capturing, or able to capture, through technologies. That’s beyond the phone and the computer. Moreover, the size of the community has really grown. It started in SF, but now the fact that is global is really exciting, and I’m really happy to see Health 2.0 launch in London, in Brazil, in Paris and Berlin, Dubai and now also in India,” states Indu.

Despite their success, they are looking at the future with the goal to achieve even more their impact “In the future the role of Health 2.0 will be the one of bringing people together to share the latest idea in technologies to showcase what is coming up and also to track the trends in the space. While Health IT is really broad, there is not a lot of data about Health 2.0. And for sure there is not a systematic tracking of the trends and of the companies. That’s an important role for us to play and also to discover the new entrepreneurs that are gonna change the world. And showcase them so that they have the most chances of success,” adds Indu. And when we ask her to summarize her vision of health in one sentence she answer us “Health is about a self-discovery, so that you can contribute to make the world a healthier place”.