The Download: How to Improve Pulse Oximeters and OpenAI’s Chip Plans
1 min read

The Download: How to Improve Pulse Oximeters and OpenAI’s Chip Plans

Visit a healthcare facility and the first thing they will do is attach a pulse oximeter to your finger. These devices, which measure heart rate and blood oxygen, provide important information about a person’s health.

But they are also flawed. In people with dark skin, pulse oximeters can overestimate the oxygen levels in their blood. This means that a person with dangerously low oxygen levels, according to their pulse oximeter, could be fine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still trying to figure out what to do about this problem. Last week, an FDA advisory committee met to consider better ways to evaluate the performance of these devices in people with different skin tones. But engineers have also thought about this problem. Cassandra Willyard examined why they are biased and what technical solutions might be possible. Check out what she found out.

This story comes from The Checkup, our weekly biotech and healthcare newsletter. Log in to receive it in your inbox every Thursday.

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+ The company has surpassed $2 billion in sales. (FT$)
+ Why China relies heavily on chiplets. (MIT Technology Review)

2 US regulators have banned AI-generated robocalls
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