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When algorithms discriminate: Fighting for tech equity in healthcare

Uncover the hidden biases lurking in healthcare technology and discover how AI can either amplify or dismantle these inequities.
By admin
Jun 17, 2024, 1:49 PM

Healthcare IT leaders are grappling with the urgent need to address growing concerns around equity and bias in healthcare technology, particularly in this AI frenzy. From hidden biases lurking in algorithms to the potential for AI to exacerbate existing disparities, the challenges are complex and multifaceted. But amidst these challenges, there is also hope — AI can be harnessed to promote equity, improve patient outcomes, and revolutionize the delivery of care.

In this episode of Health Stealth Radio, Nuvance Health CMIO Albert Vallarin shares insights on tech equity and implicit bias within healthcare apps and devices. He emphasizes the need to address implicit biases in clinical algorithms and data, citing examples of how racial biases have historically affected patient care.

The conversation also touches on the potential of AI to both magnify and mitigate biases, with Vallarin stressing the need for careful governance and diverse teams to ensure equitable deployment. He stresses the importance of building trust with patients and clinicians alike when implementing AI in healthcare.

Key takeaways from this episode

  • The importance of cultural understanding and removing assumptions when caring for patients.
  • The role of social determinants of health, including LGBTQ status, in providing equitable care.
  • The challenges of recruiting and retaining talent in healthcare IT.
  • The importance of fostering innovation in healthcare while balancing risk and reward.
  • The changing landscape of data collection as care moves from hospitals to homes.
  • The role of unstructured data in healthcare and the challenges of capturing and utilizing it.


Why you should listen

By recognizing and addressing implicit biases in algorithms and data, healthcare providers can ensure that AI-powered tools and technologies are not perpetuating existing health disparities.  Understanding tech equity allows for the development of solutions that are accessible and beneficial to all patients, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. Ultimately, this knowledge empowers healthcare professionals to harness the potential of AI to improve patient outcomes while mitigating the risks of unintended harm or discrimination.

Jump into this forward-thinking discussion today! Listen to the full episode of Health Stealth Radio below.

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