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How Racial biases in Medical Algorithms Lead to Inequities in Care

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January 11, 2023

How Racial Biases in Medical Algorithms Lead to Inequities in Care

Ask Students: Why are healthcare algorithms creating racial biases in hospitals, according to this study, and how can they be addressed?

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Summary

Hospitals across the country are using software powered by algorithms with racial biases, according to a new report from a coalition of healthcare providers. This can cause physicians to misdiagnose medical conditions or delay critical treatment. Dr. Jayne Morgan, a cardiologist and president elect of Southeast Life Sciences, joins Geoff Bennett to discuss. For a transcript of this story, click here.

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Discussion Questions

  • Who is interviewed for this story, and what is her background?
  • What is the focus of the report described in this story?
  • Where and when did the study that led to this paper take place?
  • Why are healthcare algorithms creating racial biases in hospitals, according to this study?
  • How could these biases be addressed, according to Dr. Morgan?

Focus Questions

What do you think is the best way to ensure patients are not harmed by racial bias as described in this paper?

Media Literacy: What other information would you want to better understand how some people might be impacted by racial bias in hospital systems?

Additional Exercise

Racial disparities were especially severe during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the following video from early in the pandemic and note how some of the bias described in the report in the main story may have contributed to this disparity in COVID-19 outcomes.

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Anti-Racist Educational Resources

Racism is everyone’s problem, and we all have an integral role to play in stopping it. Start planning your lessons with this collection of free preK-12 resources.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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