The ‘Wild West’ of 40,000 mobile apps

Following up on our 11 June article that took a stern, fingerwagging view of these 40,000 unvetted apps out there on the prairie, MedCityNews looks at them and finds good news. Healthy lifestyle helper apps plus a health coach can produce positive results–and we’ve covered those like AliveCor and WellDoc which turn a smartphone into a medical device and are regulated by the FDA. The problem remains that there’s no vetting of apps of either type to confirm for the user that they are effective. Happtique is still cited as a app curator for consumers and doctors, when by all reports they have changed direction [TTA 17 May]. 40,000 health-related apps and no easy way to know which ones work

And while we are on the subject of FDA, now they are dealing with the strong possibility of cyberattacks on the data and systems of the very medical devices they are regulating. In a 13 June communication to manufacturers and providers, “Many medical devices contain configurable embedded computer systems that can be vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches”–the introduction of malware or unauthorized access to configuration settings–made worse by internet, mobile access and the infamous cloud. Government Health IT

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