However the rapid growth of healthcare apps has led to the European Commission releasing a Green paper on mobile health (mhealth), which will recommend new regulations to govern the sector moving forward. The reason behind this is the majority of apps are sold from online stores such as Google Play and Apple’s iTunes, it is they who have the final say on whether or not an app is good enough to be sold to the mass market and currently there is little or no health regulation around the release of these apps.
Currently there are 500 healthcare apps being developed every week and although the majority of healthcare apps being developed are fit for purpose, there is potential for an app to get through which may offer people incorrect or misleading information.
In addition as there is such an array of apps available to measure specific aspects of different medical conditions take diabetes for example there are apps from helping you to manage the condition to tracking blood sugar levels, with patients monitoring different aspects of the condition in different ways it may be hard to make a consistent app which doctors and GP’s can use to treat their patients.
On the other hand there are some significant benefits that healthcare apps can bring to the medical industry as Russell Hughes Operations Director at Genetic Apps (a division of Genetic Digital) explained to Jeremy Howell in a recent interview for BBC World News.
“For healthcare professionals there are definite benefits in being able to reduce consulting times to help transmit information more quickly to other doctors, to help integrate patient services from the surgery to their patients so there are lots of very good ways to doing it”
As more people are beginning to use medical apps to track or diagnose their health the European Commission states this has the potential “to save the EU $140 billion dollars in 3 years”. This means that the Green Paper the EU has released is not going to have major implications on the development of the healthcare app market. Instead the main aim is to ground rules that will apply to all apps being developed, in order to safe guard the patients with the most serious medical conditions and ensure they receive the correct medical information.
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About Genetic Apps
Genetic Apps is the dedicated healthcare medical app development division within Genetic Digital, a specialist digital healthcare agency