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Mayo Clinic Is Helping Develop a Tool Providers Can Use to Curb Clinical Bias – MedCity News

Mayo Clinic recently announced a collaboration with TruLite Health, a Phoenix-based startup focused on mitigating providers’ clinical bias. 

Three physicians, all of whom specialize in community internal medicine at Mayo Clinic Arizona, are helping develop TruLite’s technology as part of a know-how license agreement. The health system said it chose to collaborate with TruLite because of the platform’s potential to mitigate health inequities and enhance patient outcomes at the point of care.

TruLite was founded in 2022 by Alan Roga — a doctor who spent two decades practicing medicine, as well as former chief clinical operations officer at Teladoc Health

“Healthcare is not even close to equitable in the United States. If you’re not male, white, educated, straight, don’t have money, or live in an urban zip code, your outcomes are worse. And we did an actuarial study and found that if you’re Black or Latin with a chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure, it’s $5,300 more per patient per year when looking at Medicare data — so economically and morally, it’s compelling to address this,” Roga, who serves as TruLite’s CEO, said in an interview.

TruLite seeks to mitigate this problem through its software, called Truity. The technology takes a patient’s demographic and medical data and runs it against TruLite’s health equity research database. This database is populated with peer-reviewed studies showing inequitable health outcomes based on patients’ race, gender or sexual orientation, with much of this research being focused on chronic illnesses, Roga explained.

Once the software runs a patient’s information against its database, it identifies potential biases the provider should be aware of and offers suggestions on how to address them. TruLite’s platform makes sure this information is available for all members of a patient’s care team, including doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists.

TruLite makes this information available to patients as well. The startup also offers virtual health equity coaching on its platform to help teach patients how they can better advocate for themselves when navigating the healthcare system.

The goal of the know-how collaboration is to enhance and evolve TruLite’s user experience, as well as to customize the platform for use in Mayo’s EHR, explained Dr. Nathan Delafield, one of the doctors helping to develop the technology. The initiative is focused on providing user feedback and implementing workflow enhancements, he added.

“Mayo Clinic is dedicated to advancing health equity. The roots of this multifaceted problem are partly due to implicit bias, skewed clinical tools, insufficient education for healthcare providers and fragmented information related to patient-specific factors contributing to disparities,” Dr. Delafield pointed out. “Mayo Clinic is actively engaged in the exploration of innovative technologies to enhance health equity and eliminate healthcare disparities.”

Mayo has a financial interest in the technology and will use any revenue it receives to support its patient care, education and research, he noted.

Photo: adamkaz, Getty Images

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Amit Ghosh
Amit Ghosh


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