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Should You Trust Health Apps on Your Phone?

By Andrew Cullison
27 Jul 2014

This article raises interesting questions about mobile health apps. It asks us to consider whether we should trust them, and to consider whether they should be regulated by the FDA.

It’s interesting that both the side favoring regulation and the side arguing against regulation think that their position is the best path to innovation in the mobile health industry. Here’s what the article says about both sides.

Although a number of laws have been proposed in Congress that aim to change the FDA’s regulatory approaches, none have passed so far. One of the main arguments against expanding the FDA’s oversight is that too much regulation would stifle innovation in the mobile health industry.
But Cortez said that this common refrain is shortsighted. “If you let these apps proliferate without any real oversight or any real enforcement, I think you risk consumer confidence in these products becoming really low,” he said. “If the majority of apps don’t work, and make claims that aren’t substantiated, I think that will undermine the market in the long run.”

Check out the article, and tell us what you think.

Andrew Cullison is the director of the Cincinnati Ethics Center.
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