Samina AbidiPhD

Associate Professor, Medical Informatics


Related information

Phone: 902-494-1764
Fax: 902-494-1597
Mailing Address: 
Room 426, 4th Floor, 5790 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Healthcare knowledge management
  • Health information personalization and clinical decision support
  • Healthcare knowledge modeling and computerization
  • Digital health-based patient self-management and education
  • Digital health-based patient empowerment and behaviour modification
  • Digital health-based chronic disease and comorbid care planning
  • Knowledge-based approaches for AAL Environment Modeling
  • Health information systems evaluation


  • PhD Health Informatics (Dalhousie University)
  • MBSS (Dow Medical College, University of Karachi)
  • MSc. IT (Universiti Sains Malaysia)

Brief bio

Dr. Abidi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine and is cross appointed in the Faculty of Computer Science. She holds a PhD degree in Health Informatics, MBBS and MSc-IT. She has a unique skill set where she is a clinician with an expertise in health informatics. She is PI for a number of CIHR, NSERC and industry-funded research projects and has developed and evaluated many health information systems. She is the recipient of the prestigious Steven Huesing Award from COACH (Canada’s Health Informatics Association). She has research interests in health knowledge integration, modelling and computerization, patient-centred care, chronic disease self-management and behaviour modification, clinical guidelines based clinical decision support and care planning, ambient assistant living, data visualizations, health IT evaluation. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles. She routinely serves on grant review panels for national and provincial granting agencies and, on program committees for international health informatics conferences. She is a member of CIHR College of Reviewers. She teaches health informatics topics in Master of Digital Innovation (MDI) - Health Informatics program and supervises health informatics graduate theses. She is one of the directors for Research in Medicine (RIM) unit for the MD program at Dalhousie University.  She is also Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) Associate Scientist.

Research interests

Dr. Abidi's research program is titled “Informatics Enabled Patient-Centered Care Services” and it is inspired by Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Care (SPOR) as proposed by CIHR. Her research program aims to investigate the incorporation of medical informatics theories and methods to design and implement innovative informatics-enabled patient care solutions. She pursue a healthcare knowledge management approach to investigate, develop and evaluate digital health systems and services that focus on (a) Patient empowerment strategies to help engage and educate patients achieve efficacy and motivation to self-manage their chronic conditions in home-based setting as per their prescribed longitudinal care plan. This includes empowering patients to achieve behavior modification and self-efficacy attainment through personalized strategies delivered using mobile interfaces; and (b) Point of care decision support for chronic disease management by translating evidence-based clinical guidelines and protocols in terms of computerized decision support aids to assist health professionals to provide evidence-based and standardized risk assessment and disease management for chronic diseases.

Selected publications

·        Van Woensel W, Abidi Samina, Jafarpour B, Abidi R. (2021). Decision Support for Comorbid Conditions via Execution-Time Integration of Clinical Guidelines Using Transaction-based Semantics and Temporal Planning. Artificial Intelligence In Medicine. (Accepted)

·        Nair A, Abidi R, Van Woensel, Abidi Samina. (2021, May). Ontology-based Personalized Cognitive Behavioural Plans for Patients with Mild Depression. In 31st Medical Informatics Europe Conference (MIE2021). (Online)

·        Rad J, Quinn JG, Cheng C, Liwski R, Abidi Samina, Abidi R. (2021, May). Using Interactive Visual Analytics to Optimize in Real-Time Blood Products Inventory at a Blood Bank. In 31st Medical Informatics Europe Conference (MIE 2021). (Online)

·        Barret M, Daowd A, Abidi Samina, Abidi R. (2021, May). A Knowledge Graph of Mechanistic Associations Between COVID-19, Diabetes Mellitus and Kidney Disease. In 31st Medical Informatics Europe Conference (MIE 2021). (Online)

·        Van Voensel W, Roy PC, Abidi R, Abidi Samina. (2020). Indoor location identification of patients for directing virtual care: An AI approach using machine learning and knowledge-based methods. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, 108(101931).

·        Woensel W, Abidi Samina, Jafarpour B, Abidi R. (2020). A CIG Integration Framework to Provide Decision Support for Comorbid Conditions using Transaction-based Semantics and Temporal Planning. In International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIME 2020).

·        Rad J, Cheng C, Quinn JG, Abidi Samina, Liwski R, Abidi R. (2020). An AI-Driven Predictive Modelling Framework to Analyze and Visualize Blood Product Transactional Data for Reducing Blood Products’ Discards. In International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIME 2020).

·        Imoukhome, E, Weeks LE, Abidi Samina. (2020). Fall Prevention and Management App Prototype for the Elderly and Their Caregivers: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation. International Journal Extreme Automation and Connectivity in Healthcare, 2(1), 48-67.

·        Mufti HN, Hirsch GM, Abidi Samina, Abidi R. (2019). Exploiting Machine Learning Methods for the Prediction of Agitated Delirium after Cardiac Surgery. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 7(4), 1-21.

·        Abidi R, Abidi Samina. (2019). Intelligent Health Data Analytics: A Convergence of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. Healthcare Management Forum, 32(4), 178-182.

·        Jafarpour B, Abidi Samina, Van Woensel W, Abidi R. (2019). Execution-Time Integration of Clinical Practice Guidelines To Provide Decision Support for Comorbid Conditions. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, 94, 117-137.

·        Abidi Samina, Vallis M, Piccinini-Vallis H, Imran SA, Abidi R. (2018). Diabetes-Related Behavior Change Knowledge Transfer to Primary Care Practitioners and Patients: Implementation and Evaluation of a Digital Health Platform. JMIR-Medical Informatics. 2018;6(2):e25

    Cox JL, Parkash R, Abidi R, Thabane L, Xie F, MacKillop J, Abidi Samina, Ciaccia A, Choudhri SH, Abusharekh A, Nemis-White J, for the IMPACT-AF Investigators. (2018). Optimizing primary care management of atrial fibrillation: the rationale and methods of the Integrated Management Program Advancing Community Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (IMPACT-AF) study. American Health Journal. 2018 Jul;201:149-157

    Mohammadhassanzadeh H, Abidi Samina, Van Woensel W, Abidi R. Investigating Plausible Reasoning over Knowledge Graphs for Semantics-based Health Data Analytics. 27th International Conference on Enabling Technologies:  Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises (WETICE-2018). Jun. 27-29 2018. Paris, France

    Rose-Davis B, Stringer E, Abidi Samina, Abidi R. Interactive Dialogue-Based Patient Education for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Using Argument Theory. 28th Medical Informatics Europe (MIE 2018). Apr. 24-26, 2018. Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Daowd A, Abidi Samina, Abusharekh A, Abidi R. A Personalized Risk Stratification Platform for Population Lifetime Healthcare. 28th Medical Informatics Europe (MIE 2018). Apr. 24-26, 2018. Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Abidi, Samina. (2017). A Knowledge-Modeling Approach to Integrate Multiple Clinical Practice Guidelines to Provide Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support for Managing Comorbid Conditions . Journal of Medical Systems. 2017;41(12):193

    Maghsoud-Lou E, Abidi R, Christie S, Abidi, Samina, Abidi R (2017). Protocol-driven decision support embedded within e-referral systems to streamline patient consultation, Triage and referrals from primary care to specialist clinics. Journal of Medical Systems. 2017;41:139

    Roy P, Abidi Samina, Abidi SSR. (2017). Possibilistic activity recognition with uncertain observations to support medication adherence in an assisted ambient living setting. Knowledge-Based Systems. July 2017. (In Press)

    Mohammadhassanzadeh M, Van Woensel W, Abidi Samina, Abidi R. (2017). Expanding the coverage of medical knowledge bases via semantics-based plausible reasoning. BioData Mining Journal. 2017;10(7):

    Jafarpour B, Abidi, Samina, Abidi R. (2016). Exploiting owl reasoning capabilities to develop semantic-web based clinical practice Guideline execution engines. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics. 2016; 20(1):424-431

    Roy PC, Abidi Samina, and Abidi R (2016). Monitoring medication adherence in smart environments in the context of patient self-management: a knowledge-driven approach. In: Bouchard B., Bouzouane A. and Guillet S. (eds), Assistive Technologies in Smart Environments for People with Disabilities, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press

    Baig W, Abidi Samina, Abidi R (2015). An ontological model of behaviour theory to generate personalized action plans to modify behaviours. Health-Exploring Complexity: An Interdisciplinary Approach (HEC 2016). GMDS & DGEpi & IEA-EEF annual meeting, Medical Informatics Europe (MIE 2016). Aug. 28–Sept. 2, 2016. Munich, Germany

    Russell A, Van Woensel W, Abidi Samina (2015). The shared decision making frontier: managing non-critical chronic illness using behavioral theory, decision theory and online technology. 15th World Congress on Health and Biomedical Informatics (MEDINFO 2015). Aug. 19-23, 2015. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    Jafarpour B, Abidi Samina, Ahmad AM, Abidi R (2015). An alert management framework to avoid physicians’ alert fatigue. 15th World Congress on Health and Biomedical Informatics (MEDINFO 2015). Aug. 19-23, 2015. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    Abidi Samina, Vallis M, Abidi SSR, Piccinini-Valli H, Imran SA (2014). D-WISE: Diabetes Web-Centric Information and Support Environment: Conceptual Specification and Proposed Evaluation. Canadian Journal of Diabetes 2014; 38(3): 205-211

    Russell A, Abidi Samina, Abidi, SSR (2014). Shared Decision Making: Using Theories and Technology to Engage the Patient in Their Health Journey. 25th European Medical Informatics Conference (MIE2014). Istanbul, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2014.

Selected awards & honours

    Steven Huesing Award - awarded to the best Canadian health informatics graduate student by COACH (Canada’s Health Informatics Association) 2007

    CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship  - Doctoral Award 2006 – 2007

    Member of CIHR College of Reviewers – 2021 onwards


    CIHR College of reviewers

    Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU)

    NS-PIHCI- Nova Scotia Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Network

    Digital Health Canada – Canada’s Health Informatics Association

    IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


    Associated Professor, Medical Informatics, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University (2016 –present)

    Associate Professor (Cross-appointment), Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS (2018-present)


    Master of Digital Innovation: Health Informatics Program

    HINF 6110 – Health Informatics Systems and Issues

    HINF 6020 – Research Methods

Service & activity

    CIHR Grant Review Panels

    MSHRF (BC) Innovation to Commercialization Grant Review Panels

    Guest Editor: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Special Issue: Advancements in Quality of Patient Care and Health Services Through Health Informatics Innovations (2021)

    Reviewer for national and international health informatics journals, conferences, grants

    PC member for national and international conferences

    Advisor for International Inter-disciplinary Peer-review and Advisory Panel (IIPAP)

    Faculty of Medicine Tenure and Promotion Committee

    Department of Community Health and Epidemiology Tenure and Promotion Committee

    Department of Community Health and Epidemiology Admissions Committee

    Research in Medicine Unit Governance Committee

    Health Informatics Executive Committee