Our Team

Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO

Mohammad is founder and CEO of Patients Know Best. He trained as a physician at the University of Cambridge; worked as a staff scientist at the National Institutes of Health; and was a management consultant to US hospitals at The Advisory Board Company. Mohammad is the author of seven books, including Personal health records: A guide for clinicians and Streamlining Hospital-Patient Communication: Developing High Impact Patient Portals. He is also an honorary senior research associate at UCL medical school for his research on patient-controlled medical records. In 2012 he was elected an Ashoka Fellow as a social entrepreneur for the contributions he has made to patient care.

Ian Bastow, Chief Financial Officer

Ian is a co-founder of Patients Know Best. He is responsible for Finance, Legal and HR matters and advises on commercial strategy. Ian is a UK qualified accountant and gained an MBA with Distinction from London Business School, where he specialised in Corporate Finance. He has worked in the technology sector for 25 years and has raised over $100m of equity funding from investors.

Katie Bettell-Higgins, VP Customer Success

Katie qualified as a nurse in 1997. She started her career in orthopaedics and trauma becoming a clinical Nurse specialist focusing on spinal injury and surgery. She also lectured on the spine to postgraduate nurses at the Florence Nightingale School, Kings College London. Later, she worked as a school nurse in East London and whilst in this role was nominated for an Innovation in Practice award for her work in improving sex and relationship education for 10 and 11 year olds. Katie also worked as a specialist practitioner in contraceptive and sexual / reproductive health for many years.


As both a CNS and a school nurse Katie experienced first hand the frustration of being unable to communicate easily and effectively with other professionals in the patient's circle of care and the impact of this on the patient. As the mother of 3 young children, one of which spent prolonged time in the healthcare and hospital system she has also experienced the frustration of trying to coordinate such fragmented communication from the patient perspective.

Mate Varga, VP of Engineering

Mate received his MSc in robotics and control theory at Budapest University of Technology. He spent almost three years in computational neuroscience working on performance problems of large-scale neural network models. Later, he joined the financial services industry in London, focusing on the design and implementation of low-latency, high-throughput and robust electronic trading systems. Fascinated by its vision, he joined PKB in 2015. His primary interest is scaling—both systems and teams.

Dr Richard Smith, Chairman

Dr. Richard Smith is director of the Ovations initiative run by world-leading health care organization UnitedHealthcare. Its mission is to combat chronic disease in the developing world. The initiative funds centres in China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Tunisia, Tanzania, South Africa, Central America, and the US Mexico border.


A member of the board of the Public Library of Science, he is also an honorary professor at the University of Warwick, a member of the governing council of St George’s, University of London, and editor of Cases Journal, a new electronic journal that aims to publish tens of thousands of case reports a year. Previously he was chief executive of UnitedHealth Europe, a subsidiary of the UnitedHealth Group that works with public health systems in Europe.


Before that he was editor of the British Medical Journal and chief executive of the BMJ Publishing Group. Having qualified in medicine in Edinburgh, he worked in hospital in Scotland and New Zealand before joining the BMJ. He also worked for six years as a television doctor with the BBC and TV-AM and has a degree in management science from the Stanford Business School. He loves making soup, marmalade, and trouble.