October 21, 2018
Apps aren\
Wellness Tip

Apps aren't Doctors

by Berkeley Wellness  

Don’t use smartphone apps to diagnose medical conditions, especially conditions that can be life-threatening.

A case in point, as reported in a recent study in JAMA Dermatology by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh: Free or inexpensive apps that use algorithms to evaluate digital photos of skin lesions were found to be highly inaccurate.

Three such apps missed melanomas or other lesions of concern at least 30 percent of the time, identifying them instead as likely benign.

Medical smartphone apps can be beneficial if they encourage users to be more aware of their health. But they are not subject to federal regulations and are not a substitute for medical evaluation.