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We demonstrate experimentally that in photonic crystal sensors with a side-coupled cavity-waveguide configuration, group velocity of the propagating mode in the coupled waveguide at the frequency of the resonant mode plays an important role in enhancing the sensitivity. In linear L13 photonic crystal microcavities, with nearly same resonance mode quality factors ∼7000 in silicon-on-insulator devices, sensitivity increased from 57 nm/RIU to 66 nm/RIU as group index in the coupled waveguide increased from 10.2 to 13.2. Engineering for highest sensitivity in such planar integrated sensors, thus, requires careful slow light design for optimized sensor sensitivity.