[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/melapp-screens.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Following on Editor Charles’ reporting since February on two ‘melanoma detection’
apps cited by the US Federal Trade Commission
as making unsupported claims on diagnosis of assessment of melanoma risks, one of the two, MelApp
, has been fined approximately $18,000, deciding 4-1 in a final consent order. MelApp, an iOS and Android app developed by Health Discovery Corporation and retailing for $1.99, claimed without proof that it could assess skin lesion risk (low, medium, high) through a smartphone photo plus questions about the mark. From the FTC release: “The final order settling the action bars the company from claiming that any device detects or diagnoses melanoma or its risk factors, or increases users’ chances of early detection, unless the representation is not misleading and is supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. It also prohibits Health Discovery Corporation from making any other deceptive claims about a device’s health benefits or efficacy, or about the scientific support for any product or service….” No word on a final consent order against Mole Detective
, but we believe it will follow shortly. FTC press release
. Previously in TTA: Action on bad apps, Mole Detective still available, and Mole Detective vanishes. Photo courtesy of the 23 February FTC release.
All the sillier then that the VentureBeat article on the FTC action takes the tack that “The fine shows how difficult it will be for future mobile entrepreneurs to launch health apps that go beyond basic fitness and heart rate monitoring.” (more…)
It is most encouraging to see that the FTC in the US has reached a settlement with two suppliers of “Melanoma Detection” apps: “In two separate cases, marketers of MelApp and Mole Detective have agreed to settlements that bar them from continuing to make such unsupported claims.” The FTC are pursuing actions against two other companies.
Echoing the requirements also of the EU’s Consumer Protection Directives as applied to health claims (notably the Misleading & Comparative Advertising Directive 2006/114EC), Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said: “Truth in advertising laws apply in the mobile marketplace.” “App developers and marketers must have scientific evidence to support any health or disease claims that they make for their apps.”
Sadly, despite a number of exposures of ‘bad apps’ that we have previously covered, as yet no action (more…)