As government and industry groups debate the best way to oversee healthcare apps, some questionable software hits the market.
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Suffer from migraines, fibromyalgia, or chronic pain? Several developers claim their apps help allay these conditions, much to the concern of some medical professionals. "Pain apps appear to be able to promise pain relief without any concern for the effectiveness of the product, or for possible adverse effects of product use. In a population often desperate for a solution to distressing and debilitating pain conditions, there is considerable risk of individuals being misled," according to researchers at the Centre for Pain Research, University of Bath, England.
Today, consumers can choose apps like Pain Killer 2.0, which claims: "If you have chronic pain or ANY pain -- you need this. Put your headphones on and tap Start. Your pain melts away in minutes. It's that easy." Or they could select Pain Relief 2.0, PainKill Free WellWave, which has "beneficial sounds for pain relieving," or Headache Rife, which uses color and sound to target headache pain.