Popular health care algorithm shows bias against Black patients, study finds

October 25, 2019

Across industries, the use of algorithms is becoming increasingly common to automate often complicated or cumbersome tasks. However, these algorithms are not benefiting everyone equally. A new study has found that a widely used health care algorithm was biased against Black patients, making them substantially less likely than white ones to receive important treatment.

Published in Science, the study was conducted by researchers from the University of California Berkeley, Chicago Booth School of Business, and Partners Healthcare in Boston. Although the study didn’t specifically name the algorithm’s creator, researchers focused on one that’s widely used in the industry to screen patients for “high-risk care management”.