The industry of mobile apps that diagnose users’ physical and mental ailments “is worth some $4 billion today, and analysts predict that it will reach $26.5 billion by 2017,” reports Mother Jones. The apps’ safety and efficacy also aren’t regulated.
“Most health apps, though, are classified as ‘informational’ or ‘entertainment’ to escape FDA oversight,” reports Mother Jones. “But their marketing talk can send confusing signals. WebMD’s Symptom Checker, for instance, lets you ‘select the part of the body that is troubling you, choose your symptoms, and learn about potential conditions or issues,’ even as the website notes that it ‘does not provide medical advice.'”
When Medical Apps Do More Harm Than Good (Mother Jones, January 5, 2015)