Be a Healthcare Hero: Help Researchers Improve Pulse Oximeters for All Skin Tones!


Next Steps

  1. Complete the study questionnaire
  2. Understand if you’re eligible to participate
Click Here

Research Center: University of California, San Francisco
Location: San Francisco, California (UCSF Parnassus campus)
Lead Researcher: Michael Lipnick, M.D.
IRB: This study has been reviewed and approved by the UCSF Institutional Review Board

About the Study

Are you interested in advancing healthcare equality and improving medical care for everyone? Join this research study on the interaction between skin color, race, and the accuracy of pulse oximeters (pulse oximeters are devices used to measure oxygen levels in a person’s blood). UCSF researchers aim to uncover why some pulse oximeters may be less accurate on individuals with darker skin tones. 

By participating, you’ll contribute to the development of more accurate medical devices and help reduce racial disparities in health outcomes. Your involvement can lead to improved and more equitable healthcare access globally. Be a part of this vital research and make a difference in healthcare for generations to come.

Why Participate?

  • Participants will be paid $200 for participating in this study, plus travel cost reimbursements. 
  • Participants will be contributing valuable information that may benefit treatment in the future.
  • Participants will be helping to advance medical research.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you can withdraw at any time.
  • Any information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • An on-site study physician will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Who Can Participate?

  • Men and women aged between 18 and 50 years old 
  • Must be in good general health with no evidence of any medical problems
  • Must be fluent in both written and spoken English
  • Must not have any of the following medical conditions:
    • A history of heart disease, lung disease, kidney or liver disease
    • Diabetes
    • Any other serious systemic illness
    • A diagnosis of asthma, sleep apnea, or use of CPAP
    • A history of a clotting disorder
    • Any hemoglobinopathy or history of anemia
    • A history of fainting
    • A diagnosis of Raynaud’s disease or peripheral circulation issues
  • Must not smoke/use tobacco products
  • Must not have a history of sensitivity to local anesthesia, such as Lidocaine
  • Must not currently be experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19
  • Must be able to attend a 1-hour study at the research site

More Study Details

The study team will explain the research in its entirety but some details are:

  • Participants will use pulse oximeters that are attached to fingers, ears, or other body surfaces. Participation often includes arterial catheter insertion.
    • Using local anesthesia and sterile technique, a 22 gauge catheter is inserted in one radial artery by the study physician
  • Participants will take part in skin color assessment which is performed using multiple methods, and have their vital signs monitored. This includes SpO2, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature.
  • Participation often includes blood sampling – During controlled hypoxemia, arterial blood samples from each participant are obtained at different steady-state levels of hypoxemia from 70-100%.

About the Research Center

UCSF Hypoxia Research Laboratory
Founded by John W. Severinghaus, MD, in 1958, the UCSF Hypoxia Research Laboratory is a leading center for the study of the effects of hypoxia on humans. The laboratory has focused on oxygen transport, oxygen measurement, and high-altitude physiology for more than 40 years. Studies done in San Francisco and at the University of California’s White Mountain Research Station represent some of the most important studies done on human adaptation to hypoxia. We continue this interest in studies on the control of breathing and adaptation to hypoxia in humans.


What’s Next?

  1. Click the link to enter your contact details and take the study questionnaire.
  2. If eligible, a member of the research team will contact you to discuss the study and answer any questions you may have.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility for This Study

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