Sherri Rose has received an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, part of the NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program established to provide funding for investigators at all career levels with bold and innovative research projects. She will use the award to delve deeper into her research about the potential harms of health care algorithms on marginalized groups.
Rose notes that algorithms are pervasive in society, and when used for decision-making in the health care system they can lead to poorer health outcomes and lack of access to care.
“These algorithms impact the lives of millions of patients but are not rigorously evaluated for systematic harms before they are implemented,” Rose said. “It’s empowering to have the opportunity to build a broad, interdisciplinary, and inclusive team to begin to tackle designing a framework for the social impact of algorithms.”
Rose, co-director of the Health Policy Data Science Lab, will use the $5.5 million award to develop complex causal network models by harnessing her expertise in machine learning, ethical AI, health economics, health policy, and statistics.
She intends to create a novel social impact framework to transform the development and application of algorithms in health care, “establishing a blueprint where tools are routinely evaluated for social impact before deployment.”
The High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program is part of the NIH Common Fund, which, according to the NIH’s press release, oversees programs that “pursue major scientific opportunities and gaps throughout the research enterprise, are of significant importance to NIH, and require collaborations across the agency to succeed.”