Is a racially-biased algorithm delaying health care for one million Black people?

Jyoti Madhusoodanan at Nature: “One million Black adults in the United States might be treated earlier for kidney disease if doctors were to remove a controversial ‘race-based correction factor’ from an algorithm they use to diagnose people and decide whether to administer medication, a comprehensive analysis finds.

Critics of the factor question its medical validity and say it potentially perpetuates racial bias — and that the latest study, published on 2 December in JAMA1, strengthens growing calls to discontinue its use.

“A population that is marginalized and much less likely to have necessary resources and support is the last group we want to put in a situation where they’re going to have delays in diagnosis and treatment,” says nephrologist Keith Norris at the University of California, Los Angeles, who argues for retiring the correction until there’s clear evidence that it’s necessary.

On the flip side, others say that the correction is based on scientific data that can’t be ignored, although they, too, agree that its basis on race is a problem….(More)”.