Racial bias is baked into algorithms doctors use to guide treatment

Doctors use algorithms to help guide their medical care, such as whether a patient should get breast cancer screening or whether they should undergo a cesarean section to give birth — but many of these algorithms have racial biases, according to a new study. 

These algorithms, which are adjusted in some way to account for patients’ race or ethnicity, may lead to worse care for Black patients — for instance, by delaying life-saving heart failure treatment or preventing them from donating or receiving kidneys, according to the research.

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