Op/Ed: Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence, and Angels of Death

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Google is universally known as a search and advertising company. Now Google is tapping into the $3.5 trillion healthcare market. To compete with the Apple Watch, Google acquired FitBit, the wearable exercise, heart rate, and sleep tracking device. Data is king.

Voluntarily worn fitness tracking devices are one thing, but Google has entered the realm of the brave new world.A government inquiry has brought to light Google’s “Nightingale Project” that collected private medical data from Ascension Health’s 2,600 sites of care across 20 states and D.C., unbeknownst to the patients.


Beltway Insider: Navy Base Terror, Impeachment, Shootings, Pearl Harbor, 2020: Student Loan Crisis


Dozens of Google employees had access to the data which included lab results, physician diagnoses, hospitalization records, and health histories, complete with patient names and dates of birth. Google claims that the project complies with the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA) because it is a qualified business associate of Ascension Health.

And unlike the ads for socks that appear on your computer a nanosecond after you purchased some tennis shoes, Google promises that the data won’t be combined with consumer data. Fat chance.

Amazon, which already knows our every thought, was not satisfied with merely creating software that can read medical records. Now they’ve created Transcribe Medical, a system that transcribes confidential patient-doctor conversations and uploads them directly into the electronic health record. Doctors would relinquish all control over “private” patient records. Google also has been working on its own automatic speech recognition “digital scribe” to upload multiple speaker conversations.


Op/Ed: Fraud and Anonymity: The Perils of Medical Care Bureaucracy


Not only is there a problem with inaccuracies that could lead to a patient receiving the wrong treatment, but we all know the ubiquitous problem of hacking—even in the Department of Defense and the federal Office of Personnel Management.

Disturbingly, certain circles oohed and aahed over the revelation that Google, using electronic health records (EHR), created an artificial intelligence program that could predict death better than doctors. Fortunately for humanity, many others found the thought of leaving doctors out of the equation horrifying.

The cheerleaders crowed that it would decrease work for the doctors; they wouldn’t have to waste their time going through those pesky medical records to arrive at a conclusion. Using an artificial neural network to predict the death of a human being is a far cry from having a computer interpret an inanimate x-ray who is not a daughter, mother, sister, wife, or grandmother.

If you put it all together, it adds up to a death panel of one. Google’s software would decide that there is not a high likelihood of walking out of the hospital, no treatment would be given. We are becoming witness to the devolution of humanity.


Op/Ed: Halloween’s Over: Take off the Masks


Moreover, the government is incentivizing workforce development in palliative care through the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. Perhaps this is why the hospice team seems to greet the patient at the hospital door. Of note, once a person has signed on to the Medicare hospice program, Medicare will not pay for any curative treatment or medications. Medicare will not pay for an emergency room visit unless the hospice team arranged it or someone decides it is not related to the hospice diagnosis.

The number of hospice agencies participating in the Medicare program nearly doubled between 2000 and 2016, for a total of some 4,382 providers. In 2000, about 30 percent of hospice agencies were for-profit, compared to about 67 percent in 2016. In that same period, Medicare payments grew from $3 billion to $16.8 billion.

Hospice care is lucrative. The minimum Medicare payment is $196 per day regardless of the quantity or quality of services provided on that day. A July 2019 report from the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services found that more than 80 percent of end-of-life facilities in the United States had at least one deficiency, and nearly 20 percent were poor performers with serious problems that jeopardized patient health and safety. It seems the compassionate medical service to care for suffering patients has turned into a heartless cash cow.


World News: Between Cost and Price Where Does Care Enter The Hospital Equation


Is this what we want for our loved ones and eventually, ourselves? Medicare for All promises every type of medical care under the sun, including long-term care. Long-term care is expensive and if done properly, labor intensive.

What better way to save money than to promote a computer program that convinces doctors that the patient is going to die no matter what they do. So the hospital tells the family that treatment or home care will drain their finances. For what? I’ll tell you for what. My parents died at home only after they were tired of doctors and ready to go. They strolled into heaven. They were not shoved in with a giant government backhoe.

 

 

Bio: Dr. Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She is the immediate past President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). She graduated from Stanford and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School.  Dr. Singleton completed 2 years of Surgery residency at UCSF, then her Anesthesia residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. While still working in the operating room, she attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law.  She interned at the National Health Law Project and practiced insurance and health law. She teaches classes in the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers. She lives in Oakland, Ca.

Haute Tease

  • ARTHUR CHRISTMAS and Sony Pictures Animation Partner With Marines Toys For Tots Campaign

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    ARTHUR CHIRSTMAS, SONY PICTURES and Aardman Productions Holiday Theatrical Release, has partnered with the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation in a quest to create a very special Christmas for every child, everywhere.

     
  • Blair Witch Review - A Super Suspenseful, Scary Good, Fright Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Blair Witch, from Lionsgate and Vertigo Entertainment, presents a solidly built sequel, seventeen years in the making, that gives horror and fright a new name with heightened suspense, trepidation, unnerving edge of the seat dread.

     
  • Paris Fashion Week: Patuna Spring/Summer Couture Collection -Tempting, Captivating, Seductive

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Patuna, the Georgian couture designer, recently debuted her Spring/Summer 2017 couture collection during the Paris Fashion Week, earning rave reviews for the alluring, inventive, unique and inspirational pieces.

     
  • Update: Gunman Kills at least 58; Injures more than 500 in Las Vegas Concert Shooting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A lone gunman, barricaded inside a hotel room overlooking an outdoor concert at the Mandalay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, has killed at least 58 and injured more than 500 in the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

     
  • Philae Spacecraft Makes Historic Comet Landing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The European Space Agency, with the assistance from the space docking launching station Rosetta, has robotically landed, which was live-streamed, the unmanned Philae Spacecraft on a comet recording and the first ever such landing by any space agency.

     
  • Dr. Mark Goulston, Suicide Prevention Expert, Speaks On Teen Suicide and The Warning Signs

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The first week of April is Teen Health Week. As we take a moment to focus on teen health and wellness, it's important to acknowledge the second-leading cause of death for teens (after accidental injury) is suicide.

     
  • The Top Ten Most Fun Places to Retire In the U.S.

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Americans are widely known as some of the hardest workers in the world. Many work very long hours, and when they're not in the office, they're catching up on emails. The goal? To get to the point where they can retire.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama, G7, Agenda; Election; Egypt Air; Syria Bombings; Cosby in Court; Bob Dylan

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The leaders of the G7 met this week in Ise Shima Japan to reiterate their commitments to advance major global economic and political agenda guided by a set of common values based on freedom, democracy, respect for human rights.

     
  • North Italia Santa Monica Review - Fabulous; Health Driven Farm to Table Fare Impresses

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sometimes a restauranteur comes along who changes the game. Raises the bar. Ups the ante. That’s very much the case with Sam Fox, the creative visionary behind Fox Restaurant Concepts, which has taken hip and healthy to new heights.

     
  • Beltway Insider: ISIL /ISIS Beheads US Journalist; Ferguson Unrest; Renewed Russia/Ukraine Violence

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, from Martha's Vineyard, addressed global tensions erupting in the Ukraine and in Iraq as ISIS terrorist's responded to the current United States Iraq policy with the murder of kidnapped journalist James Foley in a graphic and chilling video.

     
  • Dr. Christopher Calapai Offers Pre-Drinking Prep and Holiday Hangover Tips

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ouch! The headaches of Holiday Cheer. As we enter the intense season for over-indulgence. Free flowing holiday parties, open bars, celebrations galore, Dr. Christopher Calapai offers a few tips for the room spinning, did I really do that, hangover.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Fails to Rally GOP; ObamaCare Holds; London/ISIS; Mosul/Airstrikes; Cincinnati

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump suffered an embarrassing defeat this week as lawmakers failed to pull together enough votes to repeal the much-hated Affordable Care Act which has stood nearly fifty GOP fueled attacks during two presidencies.

     
  • Misclassification of Homicide Case Aids Murderer in Escaping Justice; FBI Offers Reward

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brittanee Drexel, of Rochester, New York, was last seen in 2009 leaving a beachfront hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to hotel surveillance cameras, the FBI said in a recently released statement and simply vanished.

     
  • Beltway insider: Obama Fights Low Ratings, Affordable Care Act Failures; SNAP Benefits Face Cuts; Iranian Nuke Deal; Thanksgiving Traditions Strong

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama, fighting the Affordable Care Act failures and freefalling ratings, traveled to sunny California, this week, visiting DreamWorks Studio, the home of his largest campaign donor Jeffrey Katzenberg, meeting industry executives and embracing Hollywood.

     
  • John Glenn, First Man to Achieve Space Orbit and Former Ohio Senator, Dies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    John Herschel Glenn, Jr., the first NASA Astronaut to achieve space orbit and former U.S. Senator, has passed away. No official cause of death has been released although at age 95 natural causes and age related complications are expected.