ClickCare Café

Should the government regulate medical apps? You decide.

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 08:41 AM

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Here at ClickCare, we have a big vision but generally focus on the people and the world around us. We work to serve our patients, innovate in ClickCare, and partner with our customers.

The truth is, though, that medicine is increasingly impacted by the "big picture" we're surrounded by. Everything from new HIPAA rules to Medicaid reimbursement changes affect how we care for our patients and collaborate with each other. 

So when Melissa McCormack, Managing Editor of Software Advice, reached out to us about a poll she's conducting regarding one of these big picture issues, we wanted to share it with you. Melissa presents an in-depth look at the proposed FDA regulation of medical apps (a category ClickCare falls into.)

Since we're passionate about collaboration, we're certainly going to be curious how you all ring in on the question: to regulate or not to regulate?

As noted in the article, this debate is big business. Just 5 interested firms spend over $20 million for lobbying. When regulatory issues come up, we also notice the ways that EMR/EHR companies essentially use government regulation as marketing, as covered in this New York Times investigative report. It is extremely expensive to join or have your EMR certified by the CCHIT, a situation that creates an insider's club of large multinational companies. In fact, its core members are the same large companies that lobbied for the EMR... and some of the same companies are signors of the letter to delay regulation of medical apps.

Our conclusion is that while we worry about regulation, at least it is open, defined and democratic. The FDA's initial proposals, simplified, are quite reasonable. If it touches a patient (extends a physical device) -- regulate. If it interprets data in an automatic way (highs lows, outside of bounds) -- regulate. If it is a source of information with human control and interpretation (a reference book) -- don't regulate.

So however you feel about the issue, head on over to the poll on FDA regulation on medical apps... and make yourself heard.

In the meantime, try iClickCare for yourself. And let us know your comments about this blog article, and any topics you would like to see covered in upcoming Blog articles.

iClickCare for the iPad 2.0! 

Tags: medical collaboration, iPhone medical apps, telemedicine law

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