Health equity in artificial intelligence and primary care research: Protocol for a scoping review

Jonathan Xin Wang, Sulaiman Somani, Jonathan H. Chen, Sara Murray, Urmimala Sarkar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Though artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to augment the patient-physician relationship in primary care, bias in intelligent health care systems has the potential to differentially impact vulnerable patient populations. Objective: The purpose of this scoping review is to summarize the extent to which AI systems in primary care examine the inherent bias toward or against vulnerable populations and appraise how these systems have mitigated the impact of such biases during their development. Methods: We will conduct a search update from an existing scoping review to identify studies on AI and primary care in the following databases: Medline-OVID, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, MathSciNet, AAAI, and arXiv. Two screeners will independently review all abstracts, titles, and full-text articles. The team will extract data using a structured data extraction form and synthesize the results in accordance with PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews) guidelines. Results: This review will provide an assessment of the current state of health care equity within AI for primary care. Specifically, we will identify the degree to which vulnerable patients have been included, assess how bias is interpreted and documented, and understand the extent to which harmful biases are addressed. As of October 2020, the scoping review is in the title- and abstract-screening stage. The results are expected to be submitted for publication in fall 2021. Conclusions: AI applications in primary care are becoming an increasingly common tool in health care delivery and in preventative care efforts for underserved populations. This scoping review would potentially show the extent to which studies on AI in primary care employ a health equity lens and take steps to mitigate bias.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27799
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Big data
  • Data mining
  • Decision support
  • Diagnosis
  • Electronic health records
  • Family medicine
  • Health disparity
  • Health equity
  • Health informatics
  • Health information technology
  • Primary care
  • Scoping review
  • Treatment


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