UK takes action to tackle racial bias in SpO2

By: Nastya Bobkova | 05.04.2024, 03:06
UK takes action to tackle racial bias in SpO2

The UK government is actively responding to evidence of racial bias in blood oxygen sensors.

Here's What We Know

Concerns have been raised in the UK about blood oxygen sensors that may not give accurate readings for people with darker skin. This could pose a risk to patients, as the sensors may not detect low blood oxygen levels.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States is currently investigating whether optical SpO2 sensors are actually being used in medical devices without a prescription or even in hospitals.

The problem, known as occult hypoxia, refers to situations where pulse oximeter readings indicate normal blood oxygen levels, but the actual reading is critically low.

The government agreed with the report's findings and stated its intention to work with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to ensure that medical devices are safe for all patients, regardless of race.

The issue of wearable blood oxygen sensors, such as smartwatches and other devices, has also been raised. If the FDA's study confirms the results of its analysis, it is likely that regulation of these devices will be introduced.

Source: Wareable