Tag Archive | "FTC"

FTC Aims to Offer Guidance on mHealth Apps


FTCMAW is reporting today that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is rolling out a new web-based tool for mHealth app developers to assist in their important work and offer guidance in the process.

“It’s specifically designed to help developers understand what federal laws and regulations might apply to their apps,” MAW notes.

The FTC offering was created in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Posted in Healthcare, mHealth, Mobile AppComments (0)

Supreme Court Ruling May Prohibit State Medical Boards From Discouraging Access To Telehealth


Supreme Court Ruling May Prohibit State Medical Boards From Discouraging Access To TelehealthA February US Supreme Court ruling regarding a violation of the federal antitrust law, is likely to impact the decisions state medical boards make a when it comes to telehealth.

One of the reasons federal antitrust laws have been put in place is to ensure that industry competitors maintain their integrity. They are also put in place to help new businesses thrive.

When the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners began sending cease-and-desist letters to businesses who were offering teeth whitening services that are owned and operated by non-dentists, the Federal Trade Commission got involved.

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Posted in Technology, telehealth platformsComments (2)

New York Senator Schumer Says Wearable Health Tech Should Protect Consumers from Data Breaches


New York Senator Schumer Says Wearable Health Tech Should Protect Consumers from Data BreachesIn a recent post at the U.S. Senate’s Newsroom website, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) informed constituents that “personal health and fitness data – so rich that an individual can be identified by their gait – is being gathered and stored by fitness bracelets like ‘FitBit’ and others like it, and can potentially be sold to third parties, like employers, insurance providers and other companies, without the users’ knowledge or consent.”

Schumer said he believes the situation “creates a privacy nightmare, given that these fitness trackers gather highly personal information on steps per day, sleep patterns, calories burned, and GPS locations. Users often input private health information like blood pressure, weight, and more.”

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Posted in Patient privacy, Wearable technologyComments (0)

FTC Warning: Apps Threaten Health Data Security, Privacy


FTC Warning Apps Threaten Health Data Security, PrivacyFederal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill, speaking in Washington last week, expressed concern about the way apps on smartphones and mobile devices are siphoning sensitive health data, and how some of that information may then be shared with third parties.

Based on a recent study of data-sharing related to 12 mobile health and fitness apps, it was discovered that developers were sharing consumer health information with 76 different parties, including marketers.

Reuters recently covered the FTC warning.

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Posted in Healthcare IT, mHealth, mHealth newsComments (0)

FTC Steps In to Halt “Acne Cure” Mobile Apps Based On Erroneous Claims, Signals Future of mHealth App Regulation


In a first sign of government regulation on healthcare-related mobile apps in the U.S., it was announced today that the FTC has taken action against the makers of  two so-called “acne cure” apps on the basis of providing false claims and misrepresenting medical research.

The two apps — “AcneApp” and “Acne Pwner” — claimed they could cure acne by using colored lights emitted from smartphone screens.  Consumers were advised to hold the display screen next to the area of skin to be treated for few minutes daily while the app was activated.  According to the FTC complaint, there were approximately 3,300 downloads of AcnePwner, which was offered for 99 cents in the Android Marketplace.  Ads for Acne Pwner stated, “Kill ACNE with this simple, yet powerful tool!”

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