In Journal of medical Internet research ; h5-index 88.0
There is clear evidence to suggest that diabetes does not affect all populations equally. Among adults living with diabetes, those from ethnoracial minority communities-foreign-born, immigrant, refugee, and culturally marginalized-are at increased risk of poor health outcomes. Artificial intelligence (AI) is actively being researched as a means of improving diabetes management and care; however, several factors may predispose AI to ethnoracial bias. To better understand whether diabetes AI interventions are being designed in an ethnoracially equitable manner, we conducted a secondary analysis of 141 articles included in a 2018 review by Contreras and Vehi entitled "Artificial Intelligence for Diabetes Management and Decision Support: Literature Review." Two members of our research team independently reviewed each article and selected those reporting ethnoracial data for further analysis. Only 10 articles (7.1%) were ultimately selected for secondary analysis in our case study. Of the 131 excluded articles, 118 (90.1%) failed to mention participants' ethnic or racial backgrounds. The included articles reported ethnoracial data under various categories, including race (n=6), ethnicity (n=2), race/ethnicity (n=3), and percentage of Caucasian participants (n=1). Among articles specifically reporting race, the average distribution was 69.5% White, 17.1% Black, and 3.7% Asian. Only 2 articles reported inclusion of Native American participants. Given the clear ethnic and racial differences in diabetes biomarkers, prevalence, and outcomes, the inclusion of ethnoracial training data is likely to improve the accuracy of predictive models. Such considerations are imperative in AI-based tools, which are predisposed to negative biases due to their black-box nature and proneness to distributional shift. Based on our findings, we propose a short questionnaire to assess ethnoracial equity in research describing AI-based diabetes interventions. At this unprecedented time in history, AI can either mitigate or exacerbate disparities in health care. Future accounts of the infancy of diabetes AI must reflect our early and decisive action to confront ethnoracial inequities before they are coded into our systems and perpetuate the very biases we aim to eliminate. If we take deliberate and meaningful steps now toward training our algorithms to be ethnoracially inclusive, we can architect innovations in diabetes care that are bound by the diverse fabric of our society.
Pham Quynh, Gamble Anissa, Hearn Jason, Cafazzo Joseph A
artificial intelligence, diabetes, digital health, ethnicity, ethnoracial equity, race