It was going to happen sooner or later, but a government agency has made its first crackdown on a medical mobile application. According to Fierce Mobile Healthcare the apps in question, AcnePwner and AcneApp, have been forced to stop making medical claims about their smartphone apps.
The Federal Trade Commission cracked down on the two apps for claiming that they helped stop acne by emitting a special light from your smartphone. The FTC determined that the claims were based on shoddy and deliberately misinterpreted science.
The story in and of itself is not really that groundbreaking, but it does bring up a very interesting topic. Government regulation of apps, and healthcare apps in particular. We all knew that government oversight would come at some point in the healthcare sector of mobile apps, and now we have the first “victim”.
I’m glad that the first regulation came against apps that were clearly making false claims simply to try and make a buck. If we can eliminate more of these useless apps that simply cloud the market with false claims, then the truly valuable apps will be more easily accessed allowing for the improvement in health that these apps can provide.
That being said, I also hope that the government doesn’t begin to regulate the market so much that quality apps cannot be efficiently and cost effectively developed.