2015 Archives


The following is from the Dec. 23, 2014, edition of Reuters news service. SMU Associate Law Professor Nathan G. Cortez provided expertise for this story.

January 5, 2015

Millions of people could be trying to measure their blood pressure with untested, inaccurate and potentially dangerous smartphone applications, or apps, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed the top 107 apps for “hypertension” and “high blood pressure” that are available for download on the Google Play store and Apple iTunes and found that nearly three-quarters offered useful tools for tracking medical data. 

But they also found seven Android apps that claimed users needed only to press their fingers onto phone screens or cameras to get blood-pressure readings – claims that scientists say are bogus.

“This technology is really in its nascent stages, and it’s not quite ready for prime time,” lead author Dr. Nilay Kumar told Reuters Health. . .

Writing earlier this year in The New England Journal of Medicine, a group of three lawyers, led by Nathan G. Cortez of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas, warned that mobile health, or mHealth, poses a challenge for the FDA.

“Many members of Congress and industry believe that regulation will stifle mHealth innovation,” the lawyers wrote. “The true challenge, however, is creating a regulatory framework that encourages high-value innovation while also preventing the market from being overcome with products that are ineffective or unsafe.”