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EarSwitch’s equitable oximetry advert wins two Cannes Lions!

Updated: Jun 26

Pulse oximeters are designed to save lives – so why are they often less effective for people with brown and black skin?


This is the question we’re addressing through Airquity, a campaign that we’ve developed in partnership with Havas Lynx. Airquity highlights the racial bias that currently exists in finger oximetry, and showcases how our EarMetrics®-Oximetry product could provide an equitable solution. 


We’re now excited to share that Airquity has won two awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2024! The video won Silver in two categories, including: 


Pharma, which celebrates work that brings science and innovation to life. 



Innovation, which celebrates ground-breaking technology and problem solving, alongside ad campaigns spotlighting new technology




Winning these awards has put our Airquity video in front of a global audience; one that we hope will understand the urgent need to address racial bias in medical monitoring. 


If you’d like to watch our Cannes Lions entry, you can find the Airquity video here


The crucial message behind our Airquity video 


Our Airquity video raises awareness of the racial inequity that currently exists in oxygen monitoring. It highlights the urgent need for an oximeter that allows healthcare professionals to take oxygen readings free from racial bias. 


Common finger-clip pulse oximeters are affected by skin tone, which can cause them to overestimate the oxygen levels in people with brown and black skin. A disparity of just a few % can be the difference between a normal or low oxygen reading, which could be the difference between being sent to intensive care, or being sent home without crucial treatment.  


The limitations of traditional finger-clip oximeters for people with darker skin tones have been evident since 1990. However, the Covid-19 pandemic spurred a global conversation about the issue, with people from Black and Asian ethnic groups facing higher death rates than people with white skin


EarMetrics®-Oximetry, the product at the heart of our Airquity video campaign, could provide a racially equitable solution. We believe that it could be the world’s first core oximeter that takes racially inclusive oxygen readings from the inner ear canal, where everyone’s skin is the same colour.  


By taking oxygen readings free from racial bias, EarMetrics®-Oximetry could make quality healthcare more accessible to people of all skin colours.  


Why showing Airquity at Cannes Lions meant so much


We don’t do the work we do to be recognised by awards – but we do need attention to spread our message. 


When he first found out that Airquity had been shortlisted for two awards, our founder and CEO, Dr Nick Gompertz, said: 


“Airquity amplifies an essential message: that people must learn of the potential racial biases of many finger-clip oximeters. Regardless of whether EarMetrics®-Oximetry is the answer, we want to encourage as many conversations about racial inequity in medical monitoring as possible. We hope that showcasing Airquity at Cannes Lions will do this!” 

How to get involved with Airquity  


It’s difficult to communicate the importance of addressing racial bias in oximetry in less than two minutes. However, we’d like to thank the team at Havas Lynx for doing so through Airquity.


If you’d like to find out how we’re developing the new global standard of medical monitoring through EarMetrics®, our suite of licensable in-ear hardware and technology products, we’d love to hear from you.


You can also keep up to date with us via LinkedIn

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