Dr. Haleema Yezdani: Healthcare Strategist Leading Telemedicine Evolution in India

Dr. Haleema Yezdani
Dr. Haleema

As the Indian healthcare sector progresses, the rise of women leaders highlights its dynamic growth and advancement. We are honoured to shine a spotlight on one such leader—Dr. Haleema Yezdani, whose remarkable contributions have significantly shaped the landscape of healthcare in India.

With a wealth of experience as a general physician and diabetologist, Dr. Haleema has dedicated herself to the advancement of telemedicine, a field she has passionately embraced for over a decade.

Heading HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) India as Vice President, Dr. Haleema exemplifies leadership and innovation. Her dedication to advancing healthcare through information technology has gained widespread recognition, earning her accolades and honours throughout her career.

Beyond her role at HIMSS, Dr. Haleema’s impact extends far and wide. As an ambassador for telemedicine initiatives both locally and globally, she has been instrumental in driving awareness and adoption of telehealth solutions. Her commitment to community welfare is evident through her involvement in various organizations and NGOs, including her role as Director of the BENFA healthcare program, where she spearheads initiatives such as a free telemedicine helpline.

During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Haleema’s selflessness shone brightly as she volunteered with numerous groups, providing vital teletriage services and treating thousands of COVID-19 patients on a pro bono basis.

In our exclusive interview with Dr. Haleema Yezdani, we explore her inspiring journey, highlighting the motivations, challenges, and achievements that have shaped her into a dynamic leader in the Indian healthcare landscape.

Tell us about your organization and highlight its mission and vision in the healthcare landscape.

HIMSS is a global advisor, thought leader and member-based society committed to reforming the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology. As a mission-driven nonprofit, HIMSS offers a unique depth and breadth of expertise in health innovation, public policy, workforce development, research and digital health transformation to advise leaders, stakeholders and influencers across the global health ecosystem on best practices. With a community-centric approach, our innovation engine delivers key insights, education and engaging events to healthcare providers, payers, governments, startups, life sciences and other health services organizations, ensuring they have the right information at the point of decision.

HIMSS’s vision is to:

  • Realize the full health potential of every human, everywhere.
  • Reform the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in healthcare leadership, and how did you overcome them?

As a lady, the most significant challenge that I faced was to manage everything including my house, my child, my career and my pro bono activities. I did that by ensuring proper time management and making sure that I don’t compromise in any aspect, or in any of the above.

As a woman in a leadership role, how do you approach strategic decision-making in the healthcare sector?

I always have a plan ahead of time, as a woman we just cannot leave anything for the last moment, every move that we make in the professional front will have to be planned ahead of time. Decision making should always be unbiased and proper keeping the interest of the community at large.

What initiatives or strategies have you implemented to drive innovation and positive change within your organization?

I have started around 3 telemedicine helplines, to give consultation to people who cannot afford through pro bono basis. I try to help as many people as possible. Through HIMSS India we are soon planning to start a podcast through HIMSS TV that would help to spread more knowledge about the digital health and telemedicine sector.

What specific areas of healthcare are you most passionate about, and how have you made a significant impact in those areas?

I am very passionate about telemedicine, telehealth and digital health also about using AI in health care. I have completed a leadership program in AI by mission impact academy. As I have mentioned earlier, I am trying to spread awareness regarding the use and accessibility of telemedicine through talks and launching a podcast through HIMSS TV soon.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to pursue leadership roles in the healthcare sector?

Healthcare sector is vast, there is lot of scope for people who are hardworking and have a good vision. I would tell ladies of today who plan their future through health care that sky is the limit. All it requires is perseverance, hard work and determination. Don’t stop working towards what you believe is true, always make sure you follow your dreams.

Awards of Excellence

Dr. Haleema Yezdani has gained widespread recognition for her outstanding contributions to digital health and telemedicine. She has around 20 prestigious awards to her name.

Her remarkable achievements have been celebrated not only within India but also on an international stage. Dr. Haleema’s inclusion in the book “Dream Big” as one of the 20 women achievers in Karnataka, along with being listed by Fox Story as one of the 100 influential Indians, underscores her significant impact.

Dr. Haleema was also featured in the Canadian French paper Le-Devoir, highlighting her contributions to the advancement of healthcare. Her recognition in the book “Top 100 Women of the Future Volume 2,” released in Miami, is particularly noteworthy, as she stands as the only Indian representative among esteemed women from around the world, including those from NASA.

Below is the list of awards and recognitions that showcase her outstanding contributions:

  • Jewel of India award by KTK foundation
  • Best expert in Telemedicine by Karnataka excellence awards
  • Best General practitioner by Karnataka excellence awards
  • Proud Indian award for excellence in medical service by Durga foundation
  • Top 100 health care icons by Hyoeredge
  • Best General practitioner by Karnataka health care awards
  • National women pride award by Top Gallant media
  • Best Clinical expert by powerful women awards
  • Excellence in medical services by All India women achiever’s awards
  • Excellence in medical field top 20 women achievers in Karnataka-by-Karnataka women achievers awards
  • Karnataka Mahila Ratna award by Durga foundation trust
  • Top 100 influential Indian by Fox story
  • Women leadership award
  • Excellence in medical field by Xiaomi
  • Top 26 influential person in the globe
  • Global icon award by the UK parliament
  • Global icon award by Sri Lankan government
  • Top 100 women of the future
  • Excellence in medical services by femme times
  • Recognition by team Jan Sehat for free rural health care