Call for Papers: Theme Issue 2022: Reproductive Informatics: Implications for Women's Health and Informed Choice

The Journal of Medical Internet Research is inviting submissions to a theme issue examining the role of health information technologies in promoting and protecting reproductive health decisions. 

In light of the Supreme Court of the United States ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson in June 2022, renewed focus on the role of data of all forms and provenance is necessary to respond to the potential consequences of this landmark decision. Regardless of JMIR readers’ and authors’ stances on the ruling and on abortion more generally, or their geographic location globally, those who work with data, information, and health information technologies (HIT) may be troubled by the potential misuse of data to investigate or prosecute women who miscarry or seek abortion, or the health professionals who offer reproductive health services, including safe and/or medically necessary abortions. Such misuse and its implications represent serious unintended consequences and go against the promise of HIT to improve health and health outcomes for all. 

In this theme issue (e-collection), the focus is on the impact of the US Supreme Court ruling—and similar laws like it in countries around the world—on technology, digital health, and informatics. Original research articles, systematic reviews, and article types that present data or evidence are of particular interest. However, we are also interested in research letters, viewpoints, and other JMIR article types that explore these issues. The first accepted manuscripts will be published simultaneously, accompanied by an editorial, after which this call for e-collection submissions will remain open. 

Submissions may include but are not limited to the following topics: 

  • The role of HIT in promoting and protecting reproductive health decisions
  • The role of electronic health records and digital health tools to support the full range of women’s health care, while protecting patient privacy and the safety of clinicians and allied health professionals, including FemTech, or technology-based solutions for women’s health issues [1]
  • Clinical decision support for reproductive health
  • Digital health and informatics tools that support the autonomy of the patient-professional relationship for shared decision-making, for example, for preference-sensitive decisions 
  • Implementing clinical practice guidelines (eg, US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations) in light of restrictions inherent to the US Supreme Court ruling
  • Electronic health record documentation practices regarding provision of reproductive health care
  • Specific information hazards and reasonable protections and remedies
  • The ramifications of the US Supreme Court decision in terms of the ethical-legal issues the decision brings to data and information privacy
  • Privacy issues for health data exchange in a setting where health care that is legal in one US state is a crime in another
  • Unintended consequences of interoperability to investigate miscarriages or out-of-state abortions
  • Potential legal threats to app developers, telehealth providers, and other areas within informatics if viewed as “assisting and abetting”
  • Potential solutions to mitigate the disparities in health care that will be exacerbated by the US Supreme Court decision
  • Privacy issues pertaining to internet search history and data 
  • Policy analyses and proposals focused on the intersection of reproductive health and informatics, digital health, or HIT
  • Patient information and content about reproductive health, including but not limited to evidence-based information availability, and misinformation and disinformation about reproductive services
  • Variations in reproductive health care delivery and access in different states or regions, especially related to information access or patient information to support such care

Manuscripts that take strong positions regarding theological or religious issues are out of scope for this e-collection, as this e-collection is intended to focus on the promise of HIT to improve health and health outcomes for all. All manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter that identifies the manuscript as being submitted to this theme issue (e-collection) on Reproductive Health Informatics: Implications for Women’s Health and Informed Choice.

Submissions not reviewed or accepted for publication in this JMIR theme issue (e-collection) may be offered cascading peer review or transfer to other JMIR journals, according to standard JMIR Publications policies. 

To submit an article to this JMIR theme issue, please go here and select the journal section entitled “Theme Issue 2022: Reproductive Informatics". 

Key Dates: 

Theme Issue Open for Submissions: July 13, 2022

Publication of Editorial: To be determined

Submission Deadline: Open

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