FDA lays out rules for some smartphone health apps

FDA lays out rules for some smartphone health apps

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

An iHealth rep offers a man a blood pressure checkup from a blood pressure monitoring system for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad during a demonstration of various health-related products on the opening day of the International Consumer Electronics Show on January 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show kicked off with a dazzling array of high-tech gadgetry including ultra-thin laptops, snazzy smartphones, iPad rivals and flat-screen and 3D TVs with a record 3,100 companies from around the world displaying their goods over a space equivalent to more than 35 football fields in the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center for the four-day event. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

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by AP

AP

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Food and Drug Administration officials say they will begin regulating a new wave of applications and gadgets that work with smartphones to help users monitor their health. 

With the rise of the iPhone, Android and other mobile devices has come a flood of applications designed to help people stay healthy. Industry analysts estimate there are already more than 17,000 medical applications available, ranging from calorie counters to high-tech heart monitors.

The FDA said Monday that the vast majority of these health care apps don't pose much of a risk to consumers and will not be federally regulated. Instead, the agency will focus on a handful of apps that turn smartphones into devices, like a heart monitor, or medical attachments that plug into smartphones, like arm cuffs that measure blood pressure.

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