Makers of health apps settle with N.Y. attorney general
The makers of three popular healthrelated mobile apps have reached settlements with the New York attorney general’s office over allegations that they could have harmed consumers by giving them wrong or misleading results.
Cardiio, Runtastic and My Baby’s Beat will pay a total of $30,000 in penalties, and have agreed to change their marketing materials and privacy policies as part of the settlement. The apps claimed to measure vital signs and other key health indicators, but were not backed up by scientific testing and did not make it clear to users that the apps are not medical devices and are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The settlements come after a yearlong investigation of mobile health apps by New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Cardiio and Austria-based Runtastic had previously claimed that their apps could accurately
measure a person’s heart rate after vigorous exercise simply by using the iPhone’s camera and sensors, but failed to test their apps for that purpose, according to the attorney general.
Matis, the Israel-based developer of My Baby’s Beat, claimed its app could turn any smartphone into a fetal heart monitor, despite the fact that the app has never been approved by the FDA.
It’s also never been tested in comparison to a fetal heart monitor, fetal Doppler or any other device scientifically proven to amplify the sound of a fetal heartbeat, the attorney general said.