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As Apple enters the health tracking game, medical apps are causing doctors unwanted stress


Doctors spend years learning about various ailments, equipment, and medications before ever being allowed near a patient, so it's no surprise that the glut of health tracking apps available today is giving them fits. As Wired reports, the complete lack of oversight and unverified claims of many medical apps make them a real danger, and this increasing concern comes at a time when Apple's own HealthKit framework is getting ready for the spotlight.

An editorial by law professor Nathan Cortez -- published in The New England Journal of Medicine -- sums up the issue nicely, pointing out that the FDA doesn't have the resources to actively monitor the sheer number of potentially dangerous apps. And we're not just talking about calorie trackers or weight coaches here; There are apps available that advise on insulin dosages and even claim to track your heart rate and blood pressure without any additional equipment.

Apple's HealthKit and user-focused Health app will surely lead to a new rush of medical apps as developers fall over each other to get a piece of the pie. It remains to be seen how strictly Apple will police third party apps that wish to be integrated into Apple's own wellness app, though the company's "walled garden" approach should help to filter out at least some of the riffraff.

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