How software infuses racism into U.S. health care

AHOSKIE, N.C. — The railroad tracks cut through Weyling White’s boyhood backyard like an invisible fence. He would play there on sweltering afternoons, stacking rocks along the rails under the watch of his grandfather, who established a firm rule: Weyling wasn’t to cross the right of way into the white part of town.

The other side had nicer homes and parks, all the medical offices, and the town’s only hospital. As a consequence, White said, his family mostly got by without regular care, relying on home remedies and the healing hands of the Baptist church. “There were no health care resources whatsoever,” said White, 34. “You would see tons of worse health outcomes for people on those streets.”

The hard lines of segregation have faded in Ahoskie, a town of 5,000 people in the northeastern corner of the state. But in health care, a new force is redrawing those barriers: algorithms that blindly soak up and perpetuate historical imbalances in access to medical resources.

A STAT investigation found that a common method of using analytics software to target medical services to patients who need them most is infusing racial bias into decision-making about who should receive stepped-up care.  While a study published last year documented bias in the use of an algorithm in one health system, STAT found the problems arise from multiple algorithms used in hospitals across the country. The bias is not intentional, but it reinforces deeply rooted inequities in the American health care system, effectively walling off low-income Black and Hispanic patients from services that less sick white patients routinely receive.

These algorithms are running in the background of most Americans’ interaction with the health care system. They sift data on patients’ medical problems, prior health costs, medication use, lab results, and other information to predict

Juice WRLD’s Mom Launches Website To Help Fans Struggling With Mental Health Issues

(AllHipHop News) 

Carmela Wallace, mother of late rapper Juice WRLD, opened up about her late son’s “struggles with addiction, anxiety, and depression” to mark World Mental Health Day 2020.

In the letter, Wallace writes of the “Lucid Dreams” star, real name Jarad Anthony Higgins: “I think he felt comfortable being honest with me because I never judged him. I recognized that what Jarad was dealing with was a disease and I know he truly wanted to be free from the demons that tormented him.

“As a parent, I believed early on and supported Jarad having access to counseling,” she admitted. “I encouraged him to always share his feelings.”

Juice WRLD died on December 8th, 2019 at the age of 21. His death was ruled an accidental overdose “as a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity.”

In his memory, Wallace also revealed that she has established a new website, Live Free 999, in the hopes that it will be “a resource to those that are struggling”.

“My message to the parents and children is simple. You do not have to suffer alone. You do not have to be ashamed of your mental health struggles. There is help. There is a way out,” she continued.

“If we can help even one Mother and their son or daughter through our work here, Jarad’s death will have meaning and his positive, loving, creative spirit will endure.”

For more information on Wallace’s new venture, visit https://livefree999.org/.

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Sinclair host spends weeks attacking Biden’s health in programming airing across the country

ERIC BOLLING (HOST): Just six week until we find out whether Donald Trump gets a second term or Joe Biden gets a first. Biden is ahead in the polls, but as you know, polls don’t mean much to me, they never have. Yet, he leads. There is something that’s happening that we need to highlight, though. Something the polls can’t show. Something that is extremely important to the country. It’s also something I highlighted here months ago. I’ve noticed a very troublesome pattern with the former VP. Joe Biden struggles with numbers, and it appears to be getting worse. Much worse. 

BOLLING: Look, I don’t find this funny, it’s not cute, and I’m not playing these clips to embarrass Mr. Biden. However, I do think it’s important to highlight a man clearly struggling with comprehension — especially when that man in question wants to be president of our country, the most powerful person on the planet, the same man who wants us to hand him the reins to lead America into battle against a very hostile world. China wants nothing more to their core than to overtake the U.S. as the world’s most powerful economy. Russia, Iran, and North Korea, among others would love to see us fail too. So highlighting Biden’s slipping capacity isn’t unfair, it’s actually a public service. 

This is simply not OK. Again, I’m not making fun of this guy. I’m not that guy. But Biden is becoming more and more incoherent as we approach the most important election of our lifetime, and still he leads in the polls.

BOLLING: Congressman, I just did a monologue about Joe Biden may be not fit for office. What do you say?

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): Well look, it kind of seems like he’s an avatar,

France’s Health Data Hub to move to European cloud infrastructure to avoid EU-US data transfers

France’s data regulator CNIL has issued some recommendations for French services that handle health data, as Mediapart first reported. Those services should avoid using American cloud hosting companies altogether, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

Those recommandations follow a landmark ruling by Europe’s top court in July. The ruling, dubbed Schrems II, struck down the EU-US Data Privacy Shield. Under the Privacy Shield, companies could outsource data processing from the EU to the US in bulk. Due to concerns over US surveillance laws, that mechanism is no longer allowed.

The CNIL is going one step further by saying that services and companies that handle health data should also avoid doing business with American companies — it’s not just about processing European data in Europe. Once again, this is all about avoiding falling under U.S. regulation and rulings.

The regulator sent those recommendations to one of France’s top courts (Conseil d’État). SantéNathon, a group of organizations and unions, originally notified the CNIL over concerns about France’s Health Data Hub.

France is currently building a platform to store health data at the national level. The idea is to build a hub that makes it easier to study rare diseases and use artificial intelligence to improve diagnoses. It is supposed to aggregate data from different sources and make it possible to share some data with public and private institutions for those specific cases.

The technical choices have been controversial as the French government originally chose to partner with Microsoft and its cloud platform Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft, like many other companies, relies on Standard Contractual Clauses for EU-US data transfers. But the Court of Justice of the EU has made it clear that EU regulators have to intervene if data is being transferred to an unsafe country when

Meghan Markle’s Quotes About Internet Trolls Affecting Her Mental Health Are So Upsetting

Months after exiting her role as a working member of the royal family, Meghan Markle is opening up about dealing with “damaging” negative media attention and scrutiny over the past few years. While speaking with the Teenager Therapy podcast in honor of World Mental Health Day, the Sussexes got candid about struggling to balance being new parents while living life in the limelight. Meghan Markle’s quotes about internet trolls affecting her mental health are heartbreaking, but she assured fans she’s “doing really well now.”

While speaking with Harry during the podcast, Markle reflected on what made her say she was “not OK” during a 2019 interview she gave during her royal tour of Africa.

The new mom, who said she was juggling breastfeeding Baby Archie with her duties on tour, explained, “I was tired. I was just about to give Archie a bath. I was exhausted.”

“I didn’t realize that my answer would receive such an interest from around the world,” she continued. “Because I said, ‘Well thanks, people haven’t really asked me if I’m OK.’ I didn’t think about that answer. I just answered honestly because I was in a moment of vulnerability, because I was tired, because there was no presentation. It was just, here I am. I’m a mom with a four-month-old baby and we are tired.”

In line with the theme of Mental Health Day, Markle also opened up about how negative stories about her impacted her mental health.

Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images

“I’m told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female,” she said during the podcast, adding, “Now eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible. I was on maternity leave or with a baby.”

Still, Markle said that the media attention was almost “unsurvivable.”