Dr. Sahar Hashmi: Modernizing Healthcare through Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation.

She is currently serving as the founder and CEO of Myriad Consulting LLC.

Flying High

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A charismatic leader, a mentor to many, and a passionate entrepreneur — she excels in all these categories. Meet Dr. Sahar Hashmi—a perfect exemplar of an ardent business leader who encourages digital transformation by assisting aspiring businesses and start-ups in healthcare, through her consultancy firm. Even her educational journey has proved to be an inspiration to many. She is an MD with a Ph.D. from MIT’s School of Business Management and IDSS and also completed her master’s in System Design and Management from MIT where she applied the systems design approach in the hospital’s operation management setting. Dr. Sahar recently designed, developed and taught a unique and creative AI course for graduate students at Harvard University on Artificial Intelligence, Technology Innovation, and Digital Transformation in the Business World. It was during the time of the COVID19 pandemic and her course gained popularity amongst the Harvard graduate students and they felt an “on-campus” experience with Dr. Sahar over zoom.

Dr. Sahar has remarkably implemented her vast knowledge in establishing a consultancy firm that provides a ‘myriad’ of consulting services and thus named her company Myriad Consulting LLC. It is a female-led boutique consultancy firm backed by an extensive network of highly educated, skilled, and renowned advisors and sub-contractors from both industry and academia globally. She is serving as the founder and the CEO of the firm which is based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Dr. Sahar firmly believes in the three (p)s—passion, patience, and perseverance. She emphasizes an excerpt from the book ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell, that has inspired her life journey. It says— ‘tallest oak in the forest is the tallest not just because it grew from the hardiest acorn; it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight, the soil around it was deep and rich, no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling, and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured.’ By referring to a tree as a leader she attempts to draw attention to the secondary factors that play a critical role in an individual’s ability to grow and develop their skills to sustain in the business world. Every aspiring businessperson must appreciate those who inspire them to be their best and have a positive impact on their journey. She considers herself fortunate to have a spectacular and supportive network of male and female academic and industry leaders. She says, “I still have a long way to go and I am forever grateful to all those who were there for me during my humble beginnings and continue to support me to grow.”

“We all face challenges and hardships but turning the negatives around you into positives is a skill on its own and that can be learned and will go far with you in life.”

Transforming vision into reality

Dr. Sahar founded Myriad Consulting with the mission to provide consulting services for strategic and design platforms for VCs, start-ups, futurists alike. The aim is to enable them to transform their visions into a palpable reality, despite the many obstacles that prevent brilliant ideas from manifesting in real-time. As she values passion, potential, and the genuine goal to enrich, Dr. Sahar tries to improve the lives of the population at large and that has been her go-to metric since. “We slowly developed into a boutique consulting firm with a team of brilliant minds of various expertise — MDs, PhDs, MD-MBAs, & MBAs from Harvard and MIT who believe in Myrid’s mission to give back to the community through an innovative and transformative approach,” she highlights. This core team helps clients to channelize their potential with their ideas to create a sustainable strategy to grow in the market. “I truly value humanness, empathy at work place and use a very customized hands-on interactive approach which sets the company apart from various present consulting firms,” she continues. For the past few years, she has felt truly ecstatic and blessed, as Myriad Consulting has consistently received good standing from the State of Massachusetts, USA, and has garnered a reputation of trust and outstanding work among many disruptors. “Many of my friends, colleagues from MIT and Harvard are not surprised at Myriad’s success, who has always referred to me as the ‘Queen of Innovation, AI and Digital Transformation’,” says Dr. Sahar.

She describes Myriad as a one-of-a-kind business in many ways: based on any project’s requirements, she robustly assembles a team by pooling the creme de la crème from her vast network of MDs, PhDs, and Industry consultants from around the world to provide top quality services. Similarly, the firm’s unrivalled offerings are one of its distinguishing characteristics. It offers clientele a complete package consisting of design, strategy, implementation plan, to partnership development to completely transform the vision into a reality for its client — all at a competitive cost without compromising its standards and high-quality performance.  

Myriad’s true wealth lies in the vast knowledge and skill set pool of its virtuous and highly talented team. “Clients benefit from an experience of having some of the world’s most brilliant minds from the most prestigious institutions including but not limited to Harvard, MIT, etc. sitting together (virtually) to help bring their vision to life,” she mentions. Its consulting services are vast and suitable for many different entities including but not limited to firms and institutions (hospitals/clinics) looking to automate their services (newbies in digital transformation), data analytics of health records using AI and machine learning techniques, biotech, and healthcare device/app. It also offers due diligence to VCs for start-up investments, (saving them millions of dollars in the long run), VCs looking to build an innovative mental health platform, chronic disease smart virtual centers in their region, customized educational consulting for executives looking to upgrade their current position with customized guidance on the selection of courses from the existing Harvard and MIT online courses/programs.

Dr. Sahar Hashmi

Against all odds 

“The biggest challenge in my business is being a female CEO leader in fields of AI and digital transformation,” says Dr. Sahar. It is difficult and at times daunting to be a minority within a minority (a woman leader in AI and digitaltech world) — yet she has always been exceedingly passionate about her work. As the census of female leaders in Dr. Sahar’s field is substantially less, it becomes harder, for her, to present her expertise to entice her male clientele. She has witnessed the presence of illogical common sub-conscious bias which runs in both academic and industrial spheres to consider men as more efficient and better at jobs than women. Her experience of being surrounded by supportive and genteel men who encourage women, on the other hand, contradicts such discrimination, she explains. She does not, however, deny the lack of equal opportunities for women to grow in their fields. To combat this, she advises her female colleagues to work in an organization that allows them to grow as female leaders regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or background.

There will always be bad apples in an organization that will not support a female leader to move forward and will find ways to stop her or make her life miserable or make her feel that she is not good enough,” she emphasizes. She thinks choosing wisely is the key. She continues, “We all face challenges and hardships but turning the negatives around you into positives is a skill on its own and that can be learned and will go far with you in life.” She also suggests enjoying life to its fullest by focusing and living in the present moment and “muting” the nay-sayers.

Dream big

As a doctor, Dr. Sahar has always dreamt of saving millions of lives at once and realized, through innovative applications of Artificial Intelligence and adequate business management, she could make that dream a reality. She envisions developing an innovative AI applications platform in-partner with a big tech giant or a VC investment, that will disrupt the way to deliver patient care globally.

The real-time example of the evolution of AI are platforms such as ‘Metaverse, OpenAI, DeepMind (e.g. AlphaFold)’ that holds the potential to revolutionize many fields, altogether. “I look forward to exploring the meta-world in the near future,” she mentions. However, she also shows concerns about the use of Meta-data as it could also have a potential negative impact, it should therefore be used in the most ethical and secure way possible to avoid any unintended consequences.

Dr. Sahar even recommends VC clients and start-ups to dream big, and stay positive regarding the prospects of diversification that such technology can bring to the future of work. Moreover, she is a strong believer in diversity and inclusion both in the business and the data science worlds. Thus, she encourages developers/start-ups to include data bias prevention techniques as part of the design process of any technology/device/app development. She also wants her clients to think through the process of data access and collection even before the design process of any innovative technology development process. This will help them to seek a better approach in securing data whilst blueprinting a reliable business model driving themselves to be cyber-secure. 

Being a woman leader in the digitaltech world, Dr. Sahar hopes to continue inspiring many more people in the future to start their AI-powered businesses and help her clients and students reach new heights.

“I still have a long way to go and I am forever grateful to all those who were there for me during my humble beginnings and continue to support me to grow.”

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