The mobile health industry is experiencing healthy growth, but the rapid introduction of mobile technologies and start-ups has made regulators question whether this development is good for consumers. There’s no denying that mobile health technology can provide consumers with unlimited access to healthcare information. But the concern lies in how mobile health innovations are not properly vetted by regulatory boards, with many companies using unverified methods or making false claims. The way to safely bring mobile health into consumers’ lives is by applying the same regulation and standards that are used in the healthcare industry. TechCrunch.com reported on the need for mobile health regulation in order to make mobile technology a trustworthy, safe, and valuable part of consumers’ lives.
Medical experts agree that mobile healthcare regulation is vital to consumer health. Consumers don’t always understand or research the science behind the latest healthcare discoveries. The companies introducing the advances and the regulating healthcare boards bear the responsibility of performing due diligence on their behalf.
Most digital health companies may not intend to mislead consumers, but their lack of medical knowledge, proper testing, and the rush to market their discoveries can cause them to arrive at false data and empty promises. So when consumers with little healthcare knowledge and no medical training trust these companies’ claims without FDA approval, they may make medical decisions that actually harm their health.
After all, a medical license and training are required to practice medicine and psychology in all 50 states. Mobile healthcare apps should have a licensed healthcare professional holding them to the same strict standards.
Mobile healthcare regulation has recently begun. The FDA has formed an alliance with the FTC to start regulating mobile healthcare apps. These regulatory boards have developed a program to open a direct channel of communication with the developers of mobile healthcare apps. Under these regulations, mobile healthcare app developers must answer in-depth questions regarding how their apps work, as well as receive information about regulations and laws of standards that the apps must meet for approval.
Realize that regulation is not meant to disrupt mobile healthcare progress, but rather to protect consumers and ensure the safe development of mobile health technology.
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Written by Michael Del Gigante