Mobile health apps targeting dementia patients lack appropriate privacy policies, according to researchers, highlighting concerns about the possibility of privacy breaches within a particularly vulnerable population.
The authors said the findings of the study highlighted a significant concern for patients with cognitive impairment and their caregivers, eroding trust among users.
In March, three mHealth general wellness apps agreed to a settlement in which New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman indicated his office would pursue mobile app developers that make misleading claims or fail to protect user information.
Attorneys with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have said privacy policies are generally the first place regulators look when evaluating potential privacy violations.
In addition to complying with HIPAA regulations, digital health companies face “literally thousands” of state medical privacy laws, according to one D.C. privacy attorney.