OrganizedWisdom Interview with Health 2.0 Conference Co-founder Indu Subaiya

We were lucky enough to beg and borrow some of Indu Subaiya’s
extremely limited time this week to do a wrap-up interview after the
hugely successful Health 2.0 conference last month.

Indu Subaiya is one of the leading thought leaders of the Health 2.0
movement. She has worked with a wide range of life-science and
healthcare companies helping to translate innovative ideas and
early-stage technologies into market realities.  Indu, an MD and MBA,
is the founder of Etude Scientific, and previously served as Vice President of Healthcare
and Biomedical Research at Gerson Lehrman Group where she facilitated
due diligence research in the life sciences sector for investment fund
managers and as Director of Outcomes Research at Quorum Consulting,
Inc. where she conducted Phase III-IV quality of life and
pharmacoeconomic studies and advised clients on commercialization and
reimbursement strategies for novel drugs, medical devices and
diagnostic tests.

Indu is the co-founder of Health 2.0 Conference with Matthew Holt.  You can read her blog here.

OrganizedWisdom: You and Matthew Holt helped ignite the Health 2.0
movement by launching the first Health 2.0 Conference in the fall of
2007.  You’ve just completed the third Health 2.0 Conference
in San Fransisco and it was the largest event ever.  How would you sum up each of the three events?

Indu Subaiya: The
first Health 2.0 event was a total surprise.  I think we were caught
off guard by the interest and the momentum.  It was as if all this
incredible activity was going on anyway in different parts of the world
and we just happened to hold the first party where these people who
were doing interesting things came together in one place.

My biggest takeaway from the second event was how much new technology there was compared to just 6 months before.

the event we just had in someways was the biggest surprise.  While the
rest of the world was going through and still is going through the
biggest financial crisis, over a thousand people still showed up more
enthusiastic than ever about the potential for this space.  We were
totally humbled.

OW: Why did you and Matthew first decide to launch Health 2.0?

IS: I think because we wanted to
meet and hang out with people interested in what we were interested
in.  Matthew has been a longtime analyst and observer of all things
healthcare and was beginning to write about Web 2.0/Health 2.0 and I’m
a huge web fan and had the entrepreneurial bug in a big way, so
together it was a good match.

OW: The
next Health 2.0 conference is going to take place on the East Coast for
the first time.  How will the fourth event be different from the first

IS: We’re really excited to be partnering
with the Center for Information Therapy and Josh Seidman on this
event.  The group at InfoRx has been focused on patient education and
empowerment for a long time and we’re having a lot of fun discussing
the challenges and tensions between the user-driven aspects of Health
2.0 and the information ‘prescription’ themes in the Information
Therapy movement.  But we also share a lot of common ground.

OW: At OrganizedWisdom, we’ve always described Health 2.0 as simply being about innovation.  How do you define Health 2.0 today?

IS: I think that’s a great definition.  I
agree in many ways.  I won’t attempt to create yet another definition
about Health 2.0 - you should link to Matthew’s and Ted Eytan’s and
Scott Shreeve’s.  But to me, Health 2.0 is about the consumer first and
what happens when consumers create powerful, self-organizing
communities without an institution in charge. It’s about uncompromising
transparency, fairness and common sense utility of various services.
Somewhere at the core of it it’s realizing that each of us really has
ownership over our health…and lots of things come out of that basic
  • OW: Running the Health 2.0 Conference and Blog, you and Matthew have a great perspective on new
    start-ups.  What trends and innovations are you most
    excited about?
  • IS: There’s
    a lot to be excited about.  I love seeing the power of horizontal
    communities surpass the power of any one individual or institution.
    When PatientsLikeMe accumulates more robust data than many post
    marketing clinical trials just by lay people entering in information
    about themselves because they’re inherently motivated to do so …that
    gets me excited.  When I see anyone trying to make doctors more
    accessible, accountable and responsive to consumers/patients, I’m all
    for that.  The work you are doing with LiveWisdom, what American Well
    and Minute Clinic and Hello Health are doing, also the power of a Yelp
    or Angies List where doctors behaviors as well as credentials are
    totally exposed and discussed without them being able to control the
    message…all that’s helping to move things in a better direction.

    OW: How do you think the economic downturn will impact Health 2.0 companies

    IS: I think Health 2.0 companies are
    businesses first, so unfortunately I think this will be a painful time
    for many.  Financing is harder to get for sure.  Getting customers to
    spend money will be harder.  But at the end of the day, health isn’t
    going anywhere.  And we’re kind of on this irreversible path toward the
    healthcare system improving in all the ways we’ve been discussing, so I
    think the downturn may slow the pace but it won’t change the course
    this collective community is on.   Also, my bet is it’s a great time to
    recruit talent!
  • OW: Both
    you and Matthew Holt have your own ventures in addition to Health 2.0.
    Can you share any details about what else you are working on?
  • IS: Believe
    it or not, preparing for Health 2.0 conferences behind the scenes has
    become more than a full time job for us!  Matthew will be working on
    a report/analysis service with a great group of consultants, called the
    Health 2.0 Advisors.  We’re both helping the amazing Julie Murchinson
    and Aaron Apocada get the Health 2.0 Accelerator off the ground.
    Matthew continues to run The Healthcare Blog and I might be working on
    a video interview series.  I’ve been lucky to work with some really
    smart people on a medical records sharing site - it’s a young project
    and moving along at a slower pace with everything else going on, but I
    still believe we haven’t solved the problem of consumers who have to
    deal with multiple doctors in different clinics and hospitals and
    getting them to communicate about their case, while allowing the
    consumer to stay abreast of things.  So I supposed I’ll be plugging
    away at that solution for quite a while.
  • OW: You’ve
    seen OrganizedWisdom evolve and grow since we launched two and a half
    years ago and we are really excited about how our service is evolving.
      What are your thoughts on OrganizedWisdom and the human-powered search service we are building?
  • IS: I’ve
    always thought of OrganizedWisdom as the Wikipedia of healthcare.
    It’s astonishing to see the number of new WisdomCards and the depth of
    the service now with LiveWisdom and also WisdomCards on doctors and
    the menus at restaurants!  I also love the request a WisdomCard/research option.  I send a lot of people to your site.  I think
    it’s one of the few places where the value is obvious right away and
    it’s useful minute 1 - no matter what your age, background or issue
    is.  I get lots of positive feedback from people I send over.   

    OW: What feature would you love to see integrated into the OrganizedWisdom service one day?

    OrganizedWisdom to understand
    health insurance?  Or maybe you already have that!   Probably even more
    with communities or communities of experts about a particular topic.
    Like maybe there’s a panel of 7 oncologists I can query with a question
    to see what the "(un)conventional wisdom" is on a particular question I
    have.  I’d probably pay for that.

    OW: Any additional words of wisdom that you’d love to share with the industry?

    IS: I think it’s basically to think
    big and to think 5 years ahead always.  To never think about this space
    as a trend.  And to believe in people, because health is ultimately
    personal, and if we remember that, the road ahead will always be exciting.

    One Response to OrganizedWisdom Interview with Health 2.0 Conference Co-founder Indu Subaiya

    1. Sheryl says:

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