Mobile health applications: The patchwork of legal and liability issues suggests strategies to improve oversight

Y. Tony Yang, Ross D. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations


Mobile health (mHealth) technology has facilitated the transition of care beyond the traditional hospital setting to the homes of patients. Yet few studies have evaluated the legal implications of the expansion of mHealth applications, or "apps." Such apps are affected by a patchwork of policies related to medical licensure, privacy and security protection, and malpractice liability. For example, the privacy protections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 may apply to only some uses of the apps. Similarly, it is not clear what a doctor's malpractice liability would be if he or she injured a patient as the result of inaccurate information supplied by the patient's self-monitoring health app. This article examines the legal issues related to the oversight of health apps, discusses current federal regulations, and suggests strategies to improve the oversight of these apps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-227
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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