The Good, the bad and the ugly – Lack of regulation in the medical mobile app market

‘’Not all medical apps deserve a bad rep’’ says Dr. Kevin Pho, an internal medicine provider for the Nashua Medical Group.

Over the past few years’ smart phones have become an essential part of many lives and the availability of mobile apps is only fuelling the obsession with smart phones even more.

There has been a surge in health and medical apps in the past year, so much so that it can be very hard to distinguish the good from the bad.

Many doctors have reported that patients are coming to them and mentioning how they are tracking their blood pressure or tracking their blood sugar, which is actually empowering patients to be more conscious about their own health. There are thousands of apps on the market, everything from calorie counters to blood pressure monitors, which are proving very useful to many in assisting them with their own health.

On the other hand, the New England Center of Investigative Reporting has discovered that many apps on the market have no sound medical evidence at all to back them up but surprisingly not one complaint has been filed against misleading apps. They’re many apps on the market that are being developed by individuals which no medical background whatsoever. There are many fraudulent apps out there, some claim to even cure acne with the help of different coloured lights on the phone.

There have been calls for the FDA to regulate these apps more rigorously, seeing as all drugs have been tested but because the mobile medical app is so new, there is very little regulation in that area.

Only time will tell if there will be a change in the current ‘care free’ attitude towards the medical app market.

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