Javid launches probe into medical device bias by Covid

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Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, has ordered a review to determine if medical devices work equally well regardless of ethnicity.

According to research, oximeters that are attached to the fingers of individuals can exaggerate the amount of oxygen in blood from people of ethnic minorities.

Ministers would like to find out if bias prevented Covid patients from receiving the appropriate treatment.

Javid stated that bias is “totally unacceptable”.

According to Mr Javid, he stated in Sunday Times that he wanted “to close the gapes that the pandemic exposed.”

He mentioned the devastating effects the pandemic had on minorities such as blacks, Asians and others.

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There is evidence that people from ethnic minority groups were at higher risk of Covid in the period following the pandemic.

Last year’s study found that coronavirus was twice as common in blacks than it is among whites. According to research, people with Asian roots were 1.5 times more likely to become infected than whites.

Javid stated: “It’s easy to assume everyone is getting the exact same experience when you look at a machine.”

However, technology is created and developed by humans. Therefore, biases can also exist, no matter how inadvertent.

He stated that “The founding principle of our NHS was equality and it is absolutely unacceptable for a bias to lead to a worse outcome in terms of health, even if it is accidental.”

Although an independent chairman is not yet appointed to oversee the review, the initial results are anticipated by January.

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Source: BBC.com

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