Popular Health Apps Under New York Attorney General ScrutinyApril 04, 2017
Three popular health apps have settled with the New York Attorney General over heart rate accuracy claims that were not backed by evidence.
Cardiio, Runtastic, and Matis will face fines, have to make changes to their advertising, and add prominent disclaimers to their apps, including stating a lack of FDA clearance. All three will also now be required to get user consent to collect personally identifying data. Cardiio and Runtastic claim to measure personal heart rate and Matis claims to fetal heart rate. All three apps state to be accurate, but none were tested for their intended use. For instance, Matis never compared results of the app with a fetal heart rate monitor or doppler measurements of fetal heart rate.
Most of the popular health apps on iTunes and Google Play have not undergone any testing to prove they actually work. The FDA has a hands-off approach when it comes to health apps leaving consumers to make educated decisions on the use of health apps. The FTC has taken action on many health apps claiming to measure blood pressure. Over the last year, the New York Attorney General’s office has been investigating claims made by health apps and are sending a message that developers are being watched by other entities than the FTC.
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