Major Study Warning Against Use of Hydroxychloroquine Questioned for Suspect Data


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The World Health Organization and several national governments changed their coronavirus policies based on flawed data from healthcare analytic company Surgisphere, according to a new report from The Guardian.

The study, which was widely reported, claimed hydroxychloroquine is linked to an “increased risk of death and increased risk of heart issues.”

The Guardian reported that Surgisphere, whose data was published in leading medical journals the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, has failed to explain their data or the method behind their study. The Guardian also reported the company has almost no presence online — despite the fact that they claimed to acquire from 1,200 hospitals across the world.

Sapan Desai, the chief executive of Surgisphere who was credited as one of the coauthors of the Lancet study, has also reportedly been named in three medical malpractice suits.

“Surgisphere has been in business since 2008. Our healthcare data analytics services started about the same time and have continued to grow since that time,” Desai told the Guardian. “We use a great deal of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate this process as much as possible, which is the only way a task like this is even possible.”

The U.S. healthcare analytic company also only has 11 employees who have a limited background in science, including a science fiction writer and an adult content model, per the Guardian. Some employees, found on LinkedIn by the Guardian, had only joined the company two months ago.

The methodology used for Surgisphere’s is reportedly unclear, and many doctors and health experts have questioned how the company could retrieve data from so many hospitals, especially considering many have limited technology or strict data-protection policies.

The Lancet study is now disputed by 120 doctors. Surgisphere’s database, which should list the names of all hospitals used, has not been made public.

Both the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine have acknowledged the questions surrounding their published studies and released statements.

CNN’s Jake Tapper took to Twitter to share the statements:

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