CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Yearb Med Inform 2022; 31(01): 094-099
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1742504
Special Section: Inclusive Digital Health
Working Group Contributions

The Untapped Potential of Nursing and Allied Health Data for Improved Representation of Social Determinants of Health and Intersectionality in Artificial Intelligence Applications: A Rapid Review

IMIA Student and Emerging Professionals Group
Charlene Esteban Ronquillo
1   School of Nursing, University of British Columbia Okanagan, kelowna, Canada
James Mitchell
2   School of Computing and Mathematics, Keele University, UK
Dari Alhuwail
3   Information Science Department, Kuwait University, Kuwait and Health Informatics Unit, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait
Laura-Maria Peltonen
4   Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Finland
Maxim Topaz
5   School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, USA
Lorraine J. Block
6   School of Nursing University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada
› Author Affiliations


Objectives: The objective of this paper is to draw attention to the currently underused potential of clinical documentation by nursing and allied health professions to improve the representation of social determinants of health (SDoH) and intersectionality data in electronic health records (EHRs), towards the development of equitable artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

Methods: A rapid review of the literature on the inclusion of nursing and allied health data and the nature of health equity information representation in the development and/or use of artificial intelligence approaches alongside expert perspectives from the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) Student and Emerging Professionals Working Group.

Results: Consideration of social determinants of health and intersectionality data are limited in both the medical AI and nursing and allied health AI literature. As a concept being newly discussed in the context of AI, the lack of discussion of intersectionality in the literature was unsurprising. However, the limited consideration of social determinants of health was surprising, given its relatively longstanding recognition and the importance of representation of the features of diverse populations as a key requirement for equitable AI.

Conclusions: Leveraging the rich contextual data collected by nursing and allied health professions has the potential to improve the capture and representation of social determinants of health and intersectionality. This will require addressing issues related to valuing AI goals (e.g., diagnostics versus supporting care delivery) and improved EHR infrastructure to facilitate documentation of data beyond medicine. Leveraging nursing and allied health data to support equitable AI development represents a current open question for further exploration and research.

Publication History

Article published online:
02 June 2022

© 2022. IMIA and Thieme. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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