There’s an app for just about everything, but how do you know which one to trust? There are nearly 80,000 medical apps available to the public; however, very few are tested and regulated by FDA, according to Varun Saxena’s article on fiercemedicaldevices.com. As a result of the draft guidance released by FDA last year, the agency has decided not to use its regulatory authority on some lower-risk medical apps.
Because of this lack of regulation and testing, some apps with misleading information have slipped through the cracks. For example, a 2013 article on JAMA Dermatology’s website cited three apps that falsely diagnosed images of melanomas as benign more than 30% of the time. Such findings are alarming to industry and medical organizations, who are pushing FDA to increase regulation. For now, it is important for the public to understand: FDA is outnumbered by medical apps, the majority of which cannot be trusted just yet.
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