Medical Apps To Be Designated As Medical Devices And Regulated By FDA

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FDA RegulationsIf you use any kind of medical app that could be used for a diagnosis the FDA want to regulated it. The Federal Government wants to regulate and likely tax Medical Apps as a Medical Device would be. Obama Care!

Yet another example of big government. U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued final guidance for developers of mobile medical applications, or apps, which are software programs that run on mobile communication devices and perform the same functions as traditional medical devices. The guidance outlines the FDA’s tailored approach to mobile apps.

The agency intends to exercise enforcement discretion (meaning it will not enforce requirements under the Federal Drug & Cosmetic Act) for the majority of mobile apps as they pose minimal risk to consumers. The FDA intends to focus its regulatory oversight on a subset of mobile medical apps that present a greater risk to patients if they do not work as intended.

Mobile apps have the potential to transform health care by allowing doctors to diagnose patients with potentially life-threatening conditions outside of traditional health care settings, help consumers manage their own health and wellness, and also gain access to useful information whenever and wherever they need it.

Mobile medical apps currently on the market can, for example, diagnose abnormal heart rhythms, transform smart phones into a mobile ultrasound device, or function as the “central command” for a glucose meter used by a person with insulin-dependent diabetes.

“Some mobile apps carry minimal risks to consumer or patients, but others can carry significant risks if they do not operate correctly. The FDA’s tailored policy protects patients while encouraging innovation,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

If a app is intended to be used as an accessory to a regulated medical device – for example, an application that allows a health care professional to make a specific diagnosis by viewing a medical image from a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) on a smartphone or a mobile tablet; or transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device – for example, an application that turns a smartphone into an electrocardiography (ECG) machine to detect abnormal heart rhythms or determine if a patient is experiencing a heart attack.

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