March 20, 2017 – Medical Apps


Anchor lead: The federal government is stepping into regulation of medical apps, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Do you have a medical app on your smart phone? Measuring how many steps you take, how you’re sleeping, what you’re eating? Now federal agencies are stepping into this space to regulate such apps.  Paul Rothman, dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, applauds the strategy.

Rothman: As a new area of endeavor it probably needs some regulation because unlike some other apps people are going to utilize this information and perhaps act on it that might cause harm, so I think it’s really important for someone to go and regulate this space.   :16

Rothman notes that sometimes the device used to measure things like blood pressure isn’t very accurate and renders the app inaccurate.

Rothman: That happens. I don’t know all the apps. I was just working with someone on the EKG app and we did it to each other and it was fairly accurate but I’m not sure all the apps are that good and there’s a lot of things that can go wrong with the apps so it is the right space for the FDA. It’s a device.   :15

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.