How Regulations Are Making Your iPhone A Better Doctor
The FTC is developing its own web tool to enhance precision of health apps
Abetted by the faculties of wearable computing, artificial intelligence and other exciting developments in the tech space, the ability to detect, identify and treat diseases is now within reach for any individual. But how do we know that our readings are accurate?
On a mission to align readings and diagnoses with their actual respective values, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to get involved by constructing a web tool to service health developers in understanding federal regulations that need to be taken into account when building software. According to reviews, the app Instant Blood Pressure incorrectly diagnoses blood pressure for the majority of its readings, and the app SkinVision can only identify what it calls ‘dangerous skin melanomas’ 10 percent of the time. To improve accuracy and remind developers of which laws apply to certain features within their app—in fairness, there are so many that its easy to forget—the FTC tool prompts developers to continue iterating towards a safer model.