The Takeaways: Week 24 of 2022


Rae Ellen Bichell and Cara Anthony, KHN. Race Is Often Used as Medical Shorthand for How Bodies Work. Some Doctors Want to Change That. (June 13, 2022)

So where does race belong in kidney transplant medicine? Many of the physicians interviewed for this article — many of them people of color — said it primarily serves as a potential indicator of hurdles patients may face, rather than as a marker of how their bodies function.

For example, McElroy said she might spend more time with Black patients building trust with them and their families, or talking about how important living donations can be, similar to the ways she might spend more time with a Spanish-speaking patient making sure they know how to access a translator, or with an elderly patient emphasizing how important physical activity is.

“The purpose is not to ignore the social determinants of health — of which race is one,” she said. “It’s to try to help them overcome the race-specific or ethnicity-specific barriers to receiving excellent care.”

Todd Feathers, Simon Fondrie-Teitler, Angie Waller, and Surya Mattu. The Markup + STAT. Facebook is receiving sensitive medical information from hospital websites (June 16, 2022)

The Markup tested the websites of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals in America. On 33 of them we found the tracker, called the Meta Pixel, sending Facebook a packet of data whenever a person clicked a button to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The data is connected to an IP address — an identifier that’s like a computer’s mailing address and can generally be linked to a specific individual or household — creating an intimate receipt of the appointment request for Facebook.

Facebook did not launch its sensitive health data filtering system until July 2020, three years after Houston Methodist began using the pixel, according to the New York Department of Financial Services’ investigation. And as recently as February of last year, the department reported that the system’s accuracy was poor.

Audrey Watters, Hack Education. The End (June 15, 2022)

Desmos never bent its design or its trajectory, even in response to the most mundane usage, towards what are these common practices and pedagogies of ed-tech: "we can help students do their homework faster" or "we can help teachers automate their grading" or "check out our features that showcase some bullshit metrics that our investors like to see."

Now that the company has been acquired, I don't have an answer when someone asks me that "gotcha" question [- if there was any ed-tech I liked]. You got me: "Nope. There's not a goddamn thing." And that certainly means it's time for me to step away from ed-tech for good.