Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mobile Health Apps Prompt Questions About Privacy

From the article: "As smartphone users have grown more comfortable forking over information about their bank accounts and physical whereabouts to mobile applications, a growing group of app developers are betting health-related data will be next.

Consider Bethesda-based M3 Information. The company has created an app that asks patients a series of nearly 30 questions designed to assess whether they exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. But the app, known as WhatsMyM3, stops short of a definitive diagnosis. Instead, it issues a score that suggests the patient may be at an elevated risk and recommends they discuss the results with a primary care physician…. That’s caught the eye of federal regulators. The Food and Drug Administration will likely finalize its first-ever guidance on mobile health applications later this year, giving the agency at least some oversight of mobile products that replace or complement other medical devices, such as a stethoscope or EKG machine." Read more