More Congressional Testimonies About Health IT–Members of Congress Could Entertain Getting an “Algo Man” on St
Posted Oct 01 2010 10:15am
So what it the world is an “Algo Man”? For that matter it could be a woman too but these are the folks with the brains that know how to put technology to work. Brokers on Wall Street don’t hardly ever go to a heavy meeting without their “algo man” as they realize some of the details and technological discussion are pretty heavy and involved today, so they go prepared.
When putting any process in place today your need those algorithms and that is part of the reason I focus on this to bring this awareness to the layman's level to hopefully answer some questions as to “what is going on and what is causing these things to occur”. We all know computers are here to stay and the layers of intelligence created are rapidly growing too, this is why lawmakers need that “algo man” to help make sense of all of it. Could we have a “flash crash” in healthcare, you better believe we could, and with health insurance being traded on the market, their “algo men” are all over it and this is what creates profits as the mathematical processes run 24/7 and as humans we still need sleep.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has learned a very hard lesson too in the last year with not being on top of the algorithms and the processes they run and create so no more will there be bored employees chasing porn anymore as algorithm illiteracy is something that can in fact bring down the entire economy, and thus regulations are needed to ensure rogue algorithms are not running wild. I realize this is news for a lot of folks out there but we need to deal with it and get our intelligence up to the same levels, otherwise we end up with what we have today with algorithms carving out processes for profit where they did not exist before and everyone scratching their heads wonder, how did this happen? Check out this new book that talks about formulas and why you can’t believe everything you are told with statistics.
Anybody that reads this blog knows how I talk on this subject as algorithms giveth and taketh away. Health insurance companies live and die by the algorithms that create their mathematical formulas for their business decisions. This book is on my list as I found someone who can speak the same language and acknowledges that this goes on day and night. We sleep as humans but the algorithms run 24/7, available to you at almost any time you want to consult them.
Today on “The Street” the SEC talks about regulating high frequency algorithms and the same types of mathematical processes are used when analyzing your health assessment you fill out or by insurance companies that already have data on you. It still kind of haunts me a bit to use that terminology on Wall Street of calling safety algorithms a “circuit breaker” as that is what hangs on the side of my house and how consumers see it too, but I realize this is someone’s way to try to translate the word algorithm to make some sense for those not up to par on general consumer IT literacy.
In healthcare we are lucky to have individuals like Wendell Potter who worked with algorithms for years and is sharing some knowledge on how insurers use them.
THE SEC HAS FOUND OUT TOO THAT THOSE ALGOS ARE NOT PERFECT. Algorithms are created that bring about “accurate” results and then there are those formulas written to create “desired” results and the 2 of them are not the same all the time, know this.
Anyone today proposing massive policy and law changes without the help of that “algo man” is lost as it helps to find out what processes are going to be required before one goes and speaks publicly and has no concept of the work behind such proposed rules and laws and then comes the old proverbial “egg on the face” when someone with some tech knowledge calls you on the carpet.
We see politicians stumbling around today with consumer IT literacy and last week this appeared on the Rachel Maddow show with the GOP not understanding how to at least conceal the authors of their new document on their quest for America. Need more proof on this? These folks just needed an Adobe pdf person who works with Acrobat to tell the how to remove the author’s information, I do that all the time when creating documents if it is not going to be my personal creation and something for a client. What gives here when we see a former lobbyist for big corporations wrote all of this?
So when you stop and think about this, who has all the money today, banks and folks that keep an “Algo Man” tied to the hip as they realize technology and mathematical formulas create profits. This is a balance though with healthcare as some of those algorithms may be slided over for profit only and we need the advocates out there too watch this so it doesn’t slide too far to where patient care gets denied. Does that happen, of course it does as it’s in the news all the time as the algorithms make decisions on who gets care, what kind of care and where, depending on who wrote them and how your body fits into the formulas, and all formulas are not accurate and fair.
It has to be increasingly hard today too for people testifying to try to break down some terminology into a presentation that all will comprehend too. I look at Bill Gates who’s been testifying for years and it doesn’t appear a lot of what he had said sinks in. Good reason below to get one of those “Algo Men”.
We had this in the news today too with studying best policies and practices for Health IT related to safety – THEIR LOT IN LIFE – STUDY THOSE ALGOS.
For the last 2 years HIMMS has made open statements at the annual conventions about the lack of knowledge with our lawmakers relative to technology and healthcare, and for some reason or another I feel it probably has not improved much as most of those folks still seem to be stuck on the paradigm of “it’s for those guys over there” sadly instead of seeing us all in the same boat. BD
WASHINGTON – In testimony Sept. 30 before a congressional committee, Joyce Sensmeier, vice president, informatics for HIMSS, called for more streamlined and timely health information technology standards – and warned that without them the government risks creating marketplace confusion.
Sensmeier spoke before the The House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, at a hearing called "Standards for Health IT: Meaningful Use and Beyond."