A study. Race, income associated with wear-based research participation among children

Black children and children from low socioeconomic backgrounds were less likely to participate, share data, and be involved in research that used wearable devices. published study JAMA Network Open.

The study included wearable data collected from more than 10,000 children between the ages of 11 and 13 as part of the ongoing Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.

There was a 59% lower proportion of black children in the wearable group than in the non-wearable group. But the study had a 132% higher relative proportion in the carrying group of white children.

The researchers also found a significantly lower share of children with annual incomes below $24,999 in wearable devices. Children of parents with lower educational attainment (equivalent to high school completion) were also less likely to join the wearables group.

The study also found disparities in retention between black children and children from lower socioeconomic groups. Black children shared 16 days of data compared to 21 days for white children. Those who lived in households with an income of less than $25,000 were retained for just 15 days, while those whose parents had graduated from high school shared wear data for 17 days. However, children with parents who completed an associate’s degree were retained for 20 days.

Children from racial and ethnic minority groups also wore their devices for less time compared to their white counterparts, and children in the US Southwest also had less wear time. The researchers also found that carry times were lower for children who joined during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to those who joined before the pandemic.

“The findings of this study suggest that without considering the broader social determinants of health that may influence individual and group experiences and participation in research, disparities in data collection using wearable technology may persist, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities.” for young people: groups,” wrote the authors of the study.


Racial and ethnic minorities already exist is underrepresented in clinical trials, which can affect how well drugs and devices work for this population.

The authors of the study note that consumer wearables have the potential to detect and intervene in health problems early, but some studies have shown that their heart rate data less reliable for darker skin tones. However, as more research involves consumer wearables, there is a need to ensure equal access to these studies.

“Future wearables research should address various sociotechnical and human factors to improve wearable-based data collection. These can range from participants’ and their families’ understanding of the study, the language of assent and assent, the potential impact of sharing personal data, and more. secondary use and their overall trust in the research team,” the researchers wrote. “Characteristics of the study team may also inform whether participants choose to study, as racial and ethnic minority communities are more likely to trust others like them and understand their experiences.”

Jeremy Patch will elaborate on the HIMSS23 “Unpacking the Black Box: The promise and limitations of explainable artificial intelligence” session. It is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 from 10:00-11:00 CT in the South Building, Level 5, Room S503.

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