Does Mobile Health Technology Help the Public or Put It at Risk?

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There's a lot of contextual differences that exist that don't allow some of those solutions to be translated but fundamentally there's a lot of innovation that we send back and forth. I think one thing to think about however, I'll bring this up as policy. And the enabling environment that allows or does not allow some of these innovation to be put into place and in the US, in some developed country context, there are very, very strict rules governing the disclosure or the use or the transmission of medical information.

That makes it sometimes very challenging to work through and work within the parameters that are set by those regulatory frameworks. There's also a desire and well justified by agencies such as the FTA and other federal agencies to protect the public from products and services that may not be valid.

And so over the past three, four years, there has been a very active conversation about how and where we regulate the mHealth space. And thinking about what are the balance of risks versus potential rewards that a particular M-health strategy might hold, and thinking about what might be the regulatory processes that a solution provider would have to go through to ensure that the solution is grounded in science and to ensure that the patient is receiving that the level of care that they're being promised through these technologies.

Just as an example, recently there was quite a discussion about a paper that came out looking at tele-dermatology[sp?]. So apps that were on the market to to look at suspicious lesions or growths on patience, bodies and using algorithms and camera-based tools to try to [xx] whether those legions were sort of high risk or no risk to the patient.

And the initial results have not been very encouraging. And I think there's some limitations in the technology or the way it's been deployed that prevent those from being currently something that we can recommend in it's current state. So there is some concern that you were putting the public at risk, by releasing this kinds of apps or software packages that really didn't do what they were intended to do with higher fidelity.