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10 Health Apps That Might Make You Sick
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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 2:28:59 PM
Patient, beware
Think about where that healthcare app comes from before you buy it. Some apps may be no better than Internet myths -- and may even use Internet myths to their advantage.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 2:50:47 PM
Re: Patient, beware
I also wonder how different some of these are, really, from someone who writes a book about their miracle diet, the results of which may be scientifically debatable. No way the FDA could review all of those to make sure they work. Ditto for all the books about how to get pregnant (parallel to the app in that category) or raise healthy kids, which are all getting electronic equivalents.

An app that tells you your mole is just a mole, when really it's cancer - yes, I'd agree that's in a different category and worthy of regulatory oversight.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 3:59:48 PM
Re: Patient, beware
There are many apps that really are just books-on-an-app. While researching this (and other app stories), I'm amazed at how many apps are listings of information culled from publicly available resources such as government guides, Wikipedia, etc. Many are free; some actually cost money. Of course, there's no telling whether the free ones have ads, contain malware, or hit you up somewhere within for money. In some cases, the worst thing you could be doing is wasting time. In others, though, the results could be painful.
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 3:18:33 PM
Digital snake oil
Wow - some of these apps are really shocking. I can't believe they exist AND people buy them. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 4:00:42 PM
Re: Digital snake oil
I almost GOT a migraine looking at one of the "migraine cure" apps. It used bright color screens -- just what you don't need when you have a pounding headache! Not sure where any of the "science" behind some of these programs comes from!
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 4:48:19 PM
Re: Digital snake oil
If there's any science involved, I expect it's associated with user acquisition, retention, downloads, and revenue.
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 10:18:35 PM
Re: Digital snake oil
I'm willing to bet it's the reasoning of a dollar in many cases.
Jeff Jerome
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Jeff Jerome,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 11:30:04 PM
Re: Digital snake oil
Michelle it is amazing what people will spend money on.  Now if it was free there might be more accountability but since they opt to buy it then the rules are lsightly different.
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
8/1/2014 | 10:27:54 AM
Re: Digital snake oil
I am not surprised that they exist or that people buy them but it is always shocking to see how many people are willing to scam others for a few dollars; and how many people continue to believe this type of nonsense.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 12:35:34 PM
Re: Digital snake oil
Exactly! As i said before, the format has changed -- we generally don't have literal snake oil sales people driving into the village square -- but this type of misleading medical information has been around for a long time. Just because it's available on an app doesn't mean it's legit, tested, or valid.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 6:20:28 PM
Wired also covering worrisome digital apps
Wired has a similar story: These Medical Apps Have Doctors and the FDA Worried. One interesting example is a blood pressure app claiming to use "a patent-pending process developed by a team from the Johns Hopkins University" -- except the university says it has no connection to the app and is sending its creators a cease and desist latter.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2014 | 9:08:10 AM
Re: Wired also covering worrisome digital apps
Yes, I saw the Wired story when I was about half-way through reporting this piece! Not wanting to duplicate their work, I avoided including that -- but it is scary to see how at least one company tried to leverage a well-respected healthcare name to further its own software. 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2014 | 7:49:22 PM
Re: Wired also covering worrisome digital apps
Is Apple doing better at keeping these apps out of its store compared to Google?
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 12:38:07 PM
Re: Wired also covering worrisome digital apps
I don't know the answer to that valid question, although you'd imagine iOS has less questionable apps because of the closed system and vetting process. That said, some of the apps included here are available on iOS. And Apple's not got a totally clean record in its past ability to vet apps.
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
7/31/2014 | 10:09:04 PM
10 health apps that can make u sick
It is a good example of tehnology cannot replace humans completely. it will always need our intelligence to monitor its validity
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 11:45:15 PM
Re: 10 health apps that can make u sick
@tekedge,

The old adage reigns supreme: "Garbage in, garbage out!"
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2014 | 9:09:32 AM
Re: 10 health apps that can make u sick
Exactly! As @DavidCarr said, it's simply a new platform for what's happened in the past via wagons, books, town hall meetings, and TV infomercials! Nowadays, the place to sell your solution - valid or questionable - is an app!
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Ninja
8/1/2014 | 4:35:34 PM
10 Health Apps That Might Make You Sick
Unbelievable that these people can prey on vulnerable individuals. What I find even more shocking, that once these business's go under and are deemed unsafe, the consumer can still use it since the app is downloaded on their phone.
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Ninja
8/1/2014 | 4:35:34 PM
10 Health Apps That Might Make You Sick
Unbelievable that these people can prey on vulnerable individuals. What I find even more shocking, that once these business's go under and are deemed unsafe, the consumer can still use it since the app is downloaded on their phone.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
8/2/2014 | 6:56:13 AM
Re: 10 Health Apps That Might Make You Sick
Somehow it's a kind of disaster. These so-call health-apps are actually rather harmful. We can take them out of the shelf and appstore. But what to do with the ones installed already on user's phone? Is there anyway we can revoke them? Many of these apps still giving end user mis-guidance.
anon9033273378
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anon9033273378,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/5/2014 | 4:08:14 PM
Re: 10 Health Apps That Might Make You Sick
do you know that bizSAFE is a five-step programme to assist companies build up their WSH capabilities in order to achieve quantum improvements in safety and health standards at the workplace. Companies are guided through a journey, starting from top management demonstrating their commitment towards WSH, to acquiring risk management capabilities and implementing a WSH Management System. In the process, participating companies gain recognition and benefits of having a comprehensive WSH system in place.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 12:36:53 PM
Re: 10 Health Apps That Might Make You Sick
And who knows what the no longer operating app developer did/does with users' data, either? I mean, if you're downloading an app that supposedly cures XYZ, it's probable you or a loved one have XYZ -- and that may not be information you'd like floating in the ether.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2014 | 8:59:35 PM
An app for phobics.
Is the relation to diet of your baby's gender not already a concept too obselete to be marketed? Of all these health apps, I once installed a blood pressure tracker app on my iphone which was as useless as anything which claims to measures your blood pressure without a cuff and detection of your arterial pulsations would be. Yet I rather side with the concept of apps to counter phobia. I think since phobias are not potentially life threatening, a person can experiment on his own to push higher his fear threshold without seeking professional help. I know people who overcome rational fears by just jumping straight into the heart of the matter and those who need gradual desensitization (which by the way is a psychological therapy itself) so i see no harm in an app doing that for a person who decides to use that option


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