Apple today released new stricter guidelines for developers building mobile health apps. The company made clear that medical data is particularly sensitive and apps may subject to more rules. In a nutshell, the key points are:
* Apps must not write false or inaccurate data into HealthKit
* Apps developing human-subject research must seek approval from an independent ethics review board.
* Apps may not use or disclose to third parties customers' data gathered in the health, fitness, and medical research context.
This is a really big deal. Countless snake oil "health" apps have slipped by Apple and evaded federal regulators, potentially putting patients at harm. It's a wild, wild west out there. Agencies like the FDA and FTC simply don't have the man power to police these apps, with a few notable exceptions.
I wrote about how digital health apps desperately needed a watchdog back in 2014. https://t.co/hvT527hTC3— Christina Farr (@chrissyfarr) September 2, 2016