The Grand Challenge of Data in Equitably Digitizing Black Maternal Health
The United States is the only developed country with steadily increasing maternal mortality rates (MMR), with nearly 700 new deaths each year. Black birthing people are nearly three times more likely to suffer a fatality in comparison to their white counterparts, and the disparity worsens with age and education. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been identified as a promising strategy to identify high-risk birthing people to better monitor pregnancies towards better outcomes and reduce deaths and complications. As personalized technologies and AI become more widely used in Pregnancy care, it is critical that it does not exacerbate existing disparities, for example by embedding racism into the algorithm with unfair weighting. The Authors reviewed the current state of toolkits and digital technologies tailored to Black birthing people and found a low prevalence of AI created specifically with Black birthing people and their experiences in mind. This position paper presents three calls to action to aid in equitably digitizing maternal healthcare to reverse the trend of MMM in Black birthing people globally.