November 16, 2022

2022 Women Leaders in Digital Health: Dr. Samina R. Abidi

Dr. Samina R. Abidi, Associate Professor, Dept. of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University

I believe that given the unique challenges and demands faced by the Canadian health system, we need not just dynamic clinical leaders but also a diversified community of thinkers and problem solvers who bring innovative solutions to address the gaps within the Canadian health system. In this regard, Dr. Abidi possesses excellent leadership, innovation, forward-thinking and interpersonal skills, coupled with sound academic acumen and experience that is helping to improve the Canadian health system.

Dr. Samina Abidi is Associate Professor, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University, Halifax. She holds the degrees of MD, MSc (Information Technology) and PhD (Health Informatics). She is the co-Director of the NICHE (kNowledge Intensive Computing for Healthcare Enterprises) research group. She is Director of Research in Medicine program, Faculty of Medicine. She has been involved with digital health academics, innovation, mentorship and advocacy for over 10 years. Her research interests span artificial intelligence, digital health and knowledge management. As an academic she has trained over 300 digital health students and supervised a number of graduate theses. She has published over 100 scientific papers at peer-reviewed venues and has been involved in securing over $ 6 million in research funding from industry and the tri-councils. She has developed around 25 innovative digital health systems. She collaborates with medical professionals from multiple specializations to develop innovative digital health systems. She reviews research publications and grant proposals by national and international institutions. Her expertise in AI has led to digital health solutions targeting clinical decision support, personalized healthcare, remote patient monitoring, decision support and health system optimization. She is experienced in digital transformation in the healthcare system.

Dr. Abidi’s professional credibility comes from her appointment as a tenured professor at a leading Canadian university, and her CV speaks of her experience and influence in the field of digital health. As a researcher, all her work is peer-reviewed, both for publications and project grants, by experts which renders a high level of credibility to her scientific work. As a teacher, she enjoys credibility based on her capacity building and mentorship activities. She has influenced the careers of her students by imparting them purposeful digital health knowledge and skills that have helped them be successful health informaticians. Her students are currently contributing to the Canadian healthcare system as digital health professionals. She has influenced the development of state-of-the-art digital health solutions through her cutting-edge research that has been applied to solve a range of healthcare issues, including decision support for practitioners, personalized healthcare for patients and health system use analysis for administrators. Based on her expertise and experience, she influences the debate on the benefits of digital health for patient care and community health, the use of AI in healthcare, and interdisciplinary education programs. As a person and colleague, she demonstrates integrity, collegiality, and professionalism.