Possible racial and gender bias in medical devices has been reviewed.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has ordered the review as he vowed to “close the gap that the pandemic has exposed”, saying it is “completely unacceptable” that even an unintentional bias can make some people worse. There may be health consequences.
Mr Javid said he is determined to “take a new approach” to his role within the government and to fix the inequalities “whatever” he said, citing the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups. also have to do”.
This comes as research comes as oximeters, which help identify early signs of a dangerous drop in oxygen levels in COVID patients so that they can be given immediate care, are less accurate on those with darker skin.
write in The Sunday TimesMr Javid said: “I want to make sure that the benefits of the incredible advances in technology and treatments we’ve seen in recent years are widely shared, so they don’t help hinder this work.
“It’s easy to look at the machine and assume that everyone is getting the same experience. But technologies are created and developed by people, and so bias, although unintentional, can be an issue here as well.
“So the questions are who is writing the code, how a product is tested and who is sitting around the boardroom table – especially when it comes to our health.”
He added: “One of the founding principles of our NHS is equality, and the possibility that bias – even an unintentional one – can lead to a poor health outcome, is completely unacceptable.”
The cabinet minister, who said he “horrified” the testimony of cricketers who have been victims of racism in the sport last week, spoke of his experience growing up.
He wrote: “The same word that was so ridiculously dismissed as a joke among teammates was often used against me when I grew up – and I can assure you, it’s not a joke Yes, it hurts.
“Although people’s attitudes have changed a lot since then, there are still many people in this country who unfairly look at the odds against themselves.”
Mr Javid said the independent review he launched will also look at “other important biases such as gender bias” to consider things such as “the use of life-saving technologies such as MRI scanners for pregnant or lactating women”. be made accessible”.
He said: “The greatest gift you can give to anyone is the gift of good health.
“I will make it my mission to make the gulf that the pandemic has exposed, to make us not only a healthier country, but a better one as well.”
Additional reporting by the Press Association.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /