Beware the Popular Health Apps!

Beware the Popular Health Apps

Summer is in full swing for us here in America, and with it comes the plethora of apps we now have time to fool around with in the iTunes App Store.

But be warned, not all health apps are telling you the truth and some are sneaky enough to hide their disclaimers at the bottom of the description!

I’ve been reading some articles about a doctor by the name of Iltifat Husain. He and other doctors have been expressing concerns over some of these apps that you can find on the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

In particular, I want to point your attention to an app by the name of Instant Blood Pressure. This health app explains that it can very simply and accurately get your blood pressure if you follow their easy steps. They also claim that their “patent pending technology” was developed by a team at John Hopkins University. Once John Hopkins University heard about this app, they immediately sent a cease and desist letter to the company for making false claims as such a team didn’t exist and they never approved their name to be used.

Screenshot: WIRED

Here’s what has the doctors so upset. Not only are they lying about who created the app, which was definitely not a team at John Hopkins University, they may also land someone in the E.R.—and maybe even get them killed.

After a little more research, a couple more troubling health apps showed up. Instant Blood Pressure Pro is another app that claims the same thing but support is inactive and the only review on it is “You could kill somebody”. Pulse Oximeter claims to be able to measure heart rate and blood oxygen saturation levels, but at the bottom of the description says that it is not for clinical use along with the fact that it’s only rated 2 and a half stars with no written reviews.

Husain also wrote a blog post on his growing concern over such apps.

All that to say a very simple message. Please do your research on health apps before you get them and don’t be using them as a replacement for important medical care and doctors.


iPhone app allows you to stalk on women gets pulled out

An iPhone app that seems to be developed to stalk women using Foursquare has been pulled out of the iTunes app store by its developer after hoards of criticisms plagued the app.

The “Girls Around Me” app uses data from the check-in service of the location based social networking service Foursquare. The app tells you where women had checked in within your area. Foursquare initially yanked banned the app from accessing their data. The developer then decided to pull it out of the app store afterwards.

Foursquare spokesperson Laura Covington said, “This is a violation of our API policy, so we’ve reached out to the developer and shut off their API access.”

The app also enables the user to view the Facebook information of those ladies that checked-in Foursquare.

Gizmodo called the “Girls Around Me” app the world’s creepiest.

According to Fairfax Media, the app was first publicized in the Cult of Mac Blog in March 30. The editor of the blog, John Brownlee said it was “as innocent as it is insidious”.

He said, “It is just as likely to be reacted to with laughter as it is with tears. It is as much of a novelty as it has the potential to be used a tool for rapists and stalkers.”

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