Pakistani professor receives Taiwan's Plum Blossom Card

Pakistani Professor receives honorary permanent residency in Taiwan

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Usman Iqbal (right). (Photo from Usman Iqbal)

Usman Iqbal (right). (Photo from Usman Iqbal)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Dr. Usman Iqbal, Taipei Medical University alumnus and assistant professor at the Global Health and Development Department, was granted the Plum Blossom Card and permanent residency by the Ministry of Interior in April 2019 for his special contributions in the field of health information technology.

Usman hails from Pakistan. After receiving his doctorate degree in pharmacy, he went on to obtain an MBA degree in healthcare administration and a Ph.D. degree in biomedical informatics at Taipei Medical University, where he was awarded a full scholarship.

During his first year of Ph.D., Usman's paper "Is Benzodiazepine Use a Risk for Cancer?" was published in Medicine journal and attracted media attention in Taiwan.

His pursuit for healthcare improvement and dedication to science was exemplified through his numerous publications of peer-reviewed scientific articles in leading journals such as Clinical Infectious Diseases, Thorax, Journal of American Medical Informatics Association, and The Lancet. He has also contributed book chapters with world-renowned collaborators.

In addition to his academic achievements, Usman has gathered extensive editorial experience as well. He is an editor of the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, which is the official journal of the International Society of Quality in Health Care (ISQua) published by Oxford University Press.

He is also an associate editor of Elsevier’s Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, and BMC Public Health – Global Health section. While still early in his career, Usman has rapidly received international recognition for his expertise.

He is a fellow of many educational institutes and scientific societies, including the Australasian College of Health Informatics, Salzburg Global Seminar, Australasian College of Health Service Management, and the Royal Society of Public Health. He is also a member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia.

In addition, Usman has been invited to international conferences and events to give talks and tutorials, chair meeting sessions and mentor in events such as Hackathons and Datathons. As an international faculty member, Usman frequently represents his alma mater.

He is very active in initiating international collaborations and organizing projects that aim to improve the quality of healthcare. He facilitated a joint collaborative course between Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University and Taipei Medical University, and has participated in many international conferences that focus on topics such as health data and informatics, artificial intelligence in medicine, and global health.

Apart from work as an assistant professor, Usman is also currently a digital health consultant and principal investigator at the International Center for Health Information Technology (ICHIT) of Taipei Medical University. He is working on several projects to improve healthcare, such as the use of artificial intelligence and observational health data in medicine, and the application of smart assistant and internet of things in hospitals.

Usman told Taiwan News that, "in this digitalized and patient-centered era, real-world data and evidence are vital for scientific innovations that will benefit both patients and healthcare providers."


Usman. (Photo by Usman Iqbal)