FDA lacks bandwidth to evaluate mobile health apps

Mobile medical apps promise to help people manage chronic diseases by putting information in people's hands. The question is: Will progress be hampered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) getting into the act?

If FDA guidance in the pharma industry about social media usage is any indication of what could happen in mobile health (mHealth), we should all be concerned.

The pharma industry has been waiting for direction from the FDA for a number of years. The FDA planned to lay out social media rules and regulations by the end of 2010 but never did. And in 2011, the FDA dropped social media from its guidance agenda. As a result, pharma companies are engaging in social media at their own risk.

With an estimated 17,000 mobile medical apps currently available, the FDA could be similarly overwhelmed in the mHealth space.

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