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Veinot guest edits JAMIA special issue and co-authors CCC research agenda on health equity

Friday, 08/16/2019

University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) associate professor Tiffany Veinot, a founding faculty member and former director of U-M Health Informatics program, is a guest editor of the August/September issue of JAMIA, The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 

This special double issue of JAMIA focuses on health equity, an area of passion and focus for Veinot.

In an editorial, Veinot discusses the urgent need for more research in the area of health informatics and health equity. Poor health outcomes are linked to widening income and wealth gaps, along with socially stratifying factors such as race and ethnicity, disability, rural residence and sexual and gender minority identities. 

Some health informatics practices, such electronic health records and patient portals, have been widely implemented. But Veinot explains that concerns have arisen about the potential for health informatics interventions to widen inequality, and for bias in the application of machine learning and other data science methods to health care. 

Veinot says health informatics researchers are in a unique position to influence health equity. To make a difference, health informatics researchers can help to detect disparities, understand why disparities exist, and then reduce disparities through design, implementation and evaluation of interventions. 

Also in this issue of JAMIA:

The Special Issue, Health Informatics and Health Equity: Improving our Reach and Impact, will be available to the public for free through September 17.

Veinot is also the co-author of “Sociotechnical Interventions for Health Disparity Reduction," a research agenda published by the Computing Research Association's Computing Community Consortium. This workshop helped to catalyze the JAMIA special issue on health informatics and health equity.

The report chronicles the findings of a two-day workshop, co-chaired by Veinot, that brought together 60 thought leaders from across disciplines to identify barriers to health equity and ways that technology can be used to resolve them.


- Jessica Webster, UMSI PR Specialist