Sajid Javid orders review of racial bias on medical devices – sport news football96

Health Minister Sajid Javid ordered a review of whether medical devices are equally effective regardless of the patient’s ethnicity.

Research suggests that oximeters clamped on a person’s finger can overestimate the oxygen levels in the blood of people of ethnic minorities.

Ministers want to know if a bias might have prevented patients from receiving adequate Covid treatment.

Mr Javid said any bias was “totally unacceptable”.

In a letter to the Sunday Times, Mr Javid said he was determined to “close the chasms that the pandemic has uncovered”.

He cited the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on black, Asian and other ethnic minorities.

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There is evidence that people belonging to ethnic minorities were at greater risk from Covid during the pandemic.

A study published last year showed that blacks were twice as likely to get coronavirus as whites. Research found that people of Asian descent were 1.5 times more likely to be infected than their white counterparts.

Mr. Javid said, “It’s easy to look at a machine and assume that everyone is having the same experience.

“But technology is created and developed by humans, so bias, even if it’s unintentional, can be an issue here too.”

He added, “One of the core tenets of our NHS is equality, and the possibility that bias – even accidental – could lead to poorer health outcomes is totally unacceptable.”

An independent chairman to lead the review has yet to be appointed, but initial results are expected by the end of January.

Earlier this year, an NHS report recommended an urgent review of pulse oximeter use, with experts saying they work less well in people with darker skin.

The devices emit light through the blood, and pigmentation on the skin can affect light absorption, said the NHS England and the Medicines Agency MHRA.

The guidelines for patients from black, Asian, and other ethnic minority groups have been updated. You should continue to use pulse oximeters but seek advice from a doctor.

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