Allison Loose (she/her) Product Manager
What does your job actually entail?
A normal day for me begins with scrum meetings with my development teams, rolls over to alignment calls with senior management and stakeholders on whatever initiatives we’re focusing on (electronic prescription APIs, cost optimisations, etc) before wrapping up in prioritisation sessions with research breaks peppered throughout.
When not at work you can be found...
Either travelling around or popping through favourite London haunts (Addis in Brixton and Southampton Arms in case you need recs)
Why did you join the DSxHE community?
I went to the community launch event in the spring of 2022 and was energised by the passion and insights shared to contribute in any way I could.
What should people reach out to you for help on/with?
Setting up or getting involved with a theme!
What’s your interest in data science and/or health equity?
At a very high level, my day job perfectly aligns my seemingly discongruous academic career (covering Economics, Literature and Digital Humanities). Each course trained me in a different method of vivisection for diagnosing societal ailments, and grounds my interest in shaping ethical DS/AI methodologies in support of health equity.
What’s a recent article/book/video/blog/event you’ve come across on data science and/or health equity that you found interesting and why?
I tend to read two to three books at a time, so I’ll mention my current selections as they’re both important works.
Recently, I re-read one of my favourite books, Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin, and started reading Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice by Rupa Marya and Raj Patel. While I’ve only just started wading into the discussion of my second choice (Inflamed), utilises the analogy of the body in diagnosing a society physically sickened by the trauma of law enforcement, discrimination, hunger, forced migration, exposure to toxins etc. It is captivating as the first work I’ve read that accounts for the experiences of Global South and Global North in their holistic view of the societal body.
Benjamin’s work revolves around the concept of the “New Jim Code” – the tacit encoding and thereby enshrining of Jim Crow laws in society by the perpetuation of governing algorithms trained on biased datasets. While Benajmin shares numerous case studies, what always strikes me is unintended consequences of a resource re-distribution effort of a hospital coalition in Camden, New Jersey. Their hot-spotting initiative in 2007 utilising GIS technologies and spatial profiling (intending to reallocate medical resources to system “super utilizers”) actually re-entrenches ideas that the neighborhood they serve is more dependent on their resources than more well-off counterparts, and through focusing on implementing a “technical fix”, actually misses the overarching needs that affect health, e.g. housing, substance abuse, mental health.
What makes you hopeful?
Self-organising communities on a mission
What dish do you cook best?
Homemade pasta and marinara sauce - an Italian American classic
What is your favorite board game?
Not technically a board game, but I’ll take my liberties and say the crossword