Matthew Holt went to work in 2006 to create an event that focused on health tech innovators.  That event was the first Health 2.0.  Now, 11 years later, thousands of health innovators have taken to the Health 2.0 stage to present their solutions that improve and transform healthcare.  Matthew tells us about the evolution of the organization, and the opportunities for innovators to share their stories to tens of thousands of people around the world.

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In our previous episodes we spoke to the health innovator, investor and entrepreneur Unity Stoakes, and we spoke about the important work being done at Startup Health to create an army of health transformers around the world. They focus on 4 key areas, if you didn’t tune into the episodes yet, don’t worry, I won’t spoil it, you can go back and listen to episode 39 where Unity explains each of them in detail, but I wanted to mention the 4th area because it relates to this podcast. The 4th area in which Startup Health focuses is their promotion engine – their capacity and ability in sharing the stories of the companies, users and technologies that their health transformers develop. If you’ve seen their videos, or tuned into their podcast, or attended their Startup Health Festival, you’ve seen it in action, you know what I’m talking about. And what do you need if you are trying to tell your story to a large, global audience? Well, you need a stage.

Enter Health 2.0.

Matthew co-founded Health 2.0 in 2006 with Indu Subaiya. I’ve known Matthew for several years – I’ve spent time with him at Health 2.0 conferences (and nearby bars) in the US and Europe, but until I had this discussion with him, I didn’t really have an appreciation of the background that eventually led to the creation of the Health 2.0 series of conferences. In my mind, there’s absolutely no question that these events have been a tremendous catalyst in accelerating the creation and adoption of new health technologies. What I also didn’t know is that Matthew isn’t only a very talented researcher, but he also has first hand experience driving a silicon valley startup. Unfortunately it was one that was not successful commercially, but it shaped his perspective and understanding of what it takes to be successful driving new innovations into the healthcare sector.

We cover all that in this episode 40. In episode 41, which we’ll release on September 1st, we dive into the controversy about the term Digital Health and Matthew’s preferred term: SMACK Health. He’ll tell us what that all means, and discuss the merits of that term. And, since he’s so passionate about it, we’re also going to try the new name on for size. So the next episode of this podcast will be the SMACK Health Today podcast… be sure to tune into both episodes for the full story.

Today's Topics

  • Matthew's move to America and research into healthcare
  • How the first web browsers in the 1990's helped Matthew focus on healthcare and tech
  • How Health 2.0 was started, and the early days of the organization
  • The opportunities available through Health 2.0 to accelerate early innovations



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Dan Kendall

Dan Kendall


As an engineer and business leader, I've worked to develop, launch and scale innovative products and solutions that impact health and wellness. As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand what it takes to start a business, build a team, and compete in the global marketplace.

On Digital Health Today, I leverage my experiences to help great leaders and innovators tell their stories and connect to users, investors and other stakeholders.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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