Britain’s health secretary has spearheaded a call of international action to review inherent racial bias in medical devices, which may cost the lives of ethnic-minority patients.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he had commissioned a review of the issue after learning that oximeters, which measure blood oxygen levels and are key to assessing COVID patients, give less accurate readings for patients with darker skin.
“This is systemic across the world. This is about a racial bias in some medical instruments. It’s unintentional but it exists, and oximeters are a really good example of that,” Javid said during an interview with the BBC.
Asked whether people may have died of COVID-19 as a result of the flaw, Javid said: “I think possibly yes. I don’t have the full facts.”
Read the article in its entirety in Reuters.