Sajid Javid orders review after oxygen level readers found to be 'less accurate ...

Sajid Javid orders review after oxygen level readers found to be 'less accurate ...
Sajid Javid orders review after oxygen level readers found to be 'less accurate ...

Sajid Javid has ordered an urgent review into racial bias within medical equipment amid mounting concern from experts that ethnic minority groups are up to four times more likely to die from Covid-19.

The Health Secretary, 51, plans to work alongside American counterparts within Joe Biden's administration to deliver new health standards across the globe.

New measures set to be introduced will focus on ensuring medical devices have been tested equally across all races before they are widely sold and used.

Mr Javid wants to kickstart his review after research published earlier this year showed oximeters, which are used to record oxygen levels in the blood, are less accurate on 'people with dark skin'. 

Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Javid warned of 'bias, however inadvertent,' creeping into medical procedure and said he planned to bring a 'fresh perspective'.

He argued: 'Although we’ve come together as a nation to fight this virus, the pandemic has shown that in many areas we’re far apart. 

'At the height of the Covid peak last winter, black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups made up 28 per cent of critical-care admissions in England - about double their representation in the population as a whole.

'It is easy to look at a machine and assume that everyone’s getting the same experience. But technologies are created and developed by people, and so bias, however inadvertent, can be an issue here too. 

'I want to fix these disparities wherever I find them.' 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, 51, plans to work alongside American counterparts within Joe Biden's administration to deliver new health standards across the globe

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, 51, plans to work alongside American counterparts within Joe Biden's administration to deliver new health standards across the globe

New measures set to be introduced will focus on ensuring medical devices, such as the oximeter (pictured) have been tested equally across all races before they are widely sold and used

New measures set to be introduced will focus on ensuring medical devices, such as the oximeter (pictured) have been tested equally across all races before they are widely sold and used

Mr Javid said he was commissioning an independent review into oximeters to determine whether the devices operated with an underlying 'systematic bias'.

Championing the new-era of British medical regulations that could come into force after Brexit, Mr Javid pointed to other examples he hopes to introduce in the future, including MRI scanners potentially becoming more accessible for pregnant women.

Britain's Health Secretary said he would be co-operating with Xavier Becerra, Joe Biden's health chief in the United States, to deliver new policies that would shape medicine across the globe.

Mr Javid summarised his point: 'Because one of the greatest gifts that you can give anyone is the gift of good health. I’ll make it my mission to close

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