Developing and publishing apps for iOS, Android and other systems has become a multi-billion dollar per year industry, and has attracted many successful companies both big and small. Creating health related apps is potentially a very lucrative option because people are willing to pay for things that will help improve their health or make it easier to manage. The problem many of them are running into, however, is that the apps are not in line with laws and regulations for giving health advice and other similar things.
The FTC has taken action to help app developers ensure they can create apps without violating regulations. They have issued new guidance information for using privacy and security information into mobile health apps. In addition, they made an online tool to help determine which laws apply to which specific apps.
Working in conjunction with a number of other agencies they have been able to create these tools that will give app developers a full suite of information needed to ensure everything is done correctly.
Using the tool requires developers to answer a number of questions related to their app, which will then trigger different responses. If you answer certain ways, for example, it will provide information about the FTC Act or if they answer differently it might give information on the Health Breach Notification Rule. Of course, there are many other laws, rules and documents that developers will need to be aware of in order to remain in compliance.
Taking advantage of this tool from the FTC will also let developers more accurately determine what potential legal or regulatory risks are involved with what they are creating. This will help them to avoid legal problems down the road, which can be quite costly and may even make a particular app or business impractical.
If you are an app developer considering making a health related app, you can see the tool from the FTC HERE.