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  1. Pollard, Tom J. (Ed.)
    Modern predictive models require large amounts of data for training and evaluation, absence of which may result in models that are specific to certain locations, populations in them and clinical practices. Yet, best practices for clinical risk prediction models have not yet considered such challenges to generalizability. Here we ask whether population- and group-level performance of mortality prediction models vary significantly when applied to hospitals or geographies different from the ones in which they are developed. Further, what characteristics of the datasets explain the performance variation? In this multi-center cross-sectional study, we analyzed electronic health records from 179 hospitals across the US with 70,126 hospitalizations from 2014 to 2015. Generalization gap, defined as difference between model performance metrics across hospitals, is computed for area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and calibration slope. To assess model performance by the race variable, we report differences in false negative rates across groups. Data were also analyzed using a causal discovery algorithm “Fast Causal Inference” that infers paths of causal influence while identifying potential influences associated with unmeasured variables. When transferring models across hospitals, AUC at the test hospital ranged from 0.777 to 0.832 (1st-3rd quartile or IQR; median 0.801); calibration slope from 0.725 to 0.983 (IQR; median 0.853); and disparity in false negative rates from 0.046 to 0.168 (IQR; median 0.092). Distribution of all variable types (demography, vitals, and labs) differed significantly across hospitals and regions. The race variable also mediated differences in the relationship between clinical variables and mortality, by hospital/region. In conclusion, group-level performance should be assessed during generalizability checks to identify potential harms to the groups. Moreover, for developing methods to improve model performance in new environments, a better understanding and documentation of provenance of data and health processes are needed to identify and mitigate sources of variation. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
  3. Abstract Objective Through the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, telemedicine became a necessary entry point into the process of diagnosis, triage and treatment. Racial and ethnic disparities in health care have been well documented in COVID-19 with respect to risk of infection and in-hospital outcomes once admitted, and here we assess disparities in those who access healthcare via telemedicine for COVID-19 . Materials and Methods Electronic health record data of patients at New York University Langone Health between March 19th and April 30, 2020 were used to conduct descriptive and multilevel regression analyses with respect to visit type (telemedicine or in-person), suspected COVID diagnosis and COVID test results. Results Controlling for individual and community-level attributes, Black patients had 0.6 times the adjusted odds (95%CI:0.58-0.63) of accessing care through telemedicine compared to white patients, though they are increasingly accessing telemedicine for urgent care, driven by a younger and female population. COVID diagnoses were significantly more likely for Black versus white telemedicine patients. Discussion There are disparities for Black patients accessing telemedicine, however increased uptake by young, female Black patients. Mean income and decreased mean household size of Zip code were also significantly related to telemedicine use. Conclusion Telemedicine access disparities reflect those in in-person healthcare access. Roots of disparate use are complex and reflect individual, community, and structural factors, including their intersection; many of which are due to systemic racism. Evidence regarding disparities that manifest through telemedicine can be used to inform tool design and systemic efforts to promote digital health equity. 
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