ATLANTA (Yaakov M / VINnews) — A new study has found that temporal scanner thermometers do not detect fever accurately in Blacks and many Hispanics.
Woke CNN went further, suggesting this is a “systemic problem”, and that the manufacturers and researchers are discriminating against blacks.
A new JAMA study found that temporal thermometers, which scan temperature via the forehead, may be less accurate than oral thermometers at detecting fevers among dark-skinned people.
Similarly, other studies have found that pulse oximeters may yield inaccurate readings among people of color. That’s because the technology involves emitting and capturing light beneath the skin to take a measurement. If a device isn’t calibrated for darker skin tones, the pigmentation could affect how the light is absorbed and how the technology works.
CNN claimed that the devices’ lack of effectiveness and accuracy on black patients is part of a “much bigger systemic problem,” and that researchers need to be more “inclusive” when conducting studies.
The story quoted an expert who said: “These inaccuracies in how a device might perform in Black and brown patients are examples of why it’s important for research to be more inclusive and involve people of color in clinical trials for the design and evaluation of medical devices.“
He added, “It really reflects the much bigger systemic problem that we have now in the way we design, we innovate, we develop health products — not just medical devices but also medications and interventions,” he said. “We really need to step up in terms of making sure that the research we perform is more inclusive so that we avoid these unintended consequences of the technology that we develop.”
The study did not analyze the exact factors behind why these racial differences in the accuracy of temporal thermometers exist — it just found that they did.