A Health Care Algorithm Affecting Millions Is Biased Against Black Patients

October 24, 2019

(The Verge) – A health care algorithm makes black patients substantially less likely than their white counterparts to receive important medical treatment. The major flaw affects millions of patients, and was just revealed in research published this week in the journal Science. The study does not name the makers of the algorithm, but Ziad Obermeyer, an acting associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who worked on the study says “almost every large health care system” is using it, as well as institutions like insurers. Similar algorithms are produced by several different companies as well. “This is a systematic feature of the way pretty much everyone in the space approaches this problem,” he says. 

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