AMA adopts guiding principles for physician use of mobile health apps

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The American Medical Association has approved a list of principles to guide coverage and payment policies related to integrating mobile health apps into everyday practice.

The list of eight principles include ensuring that a given application has evidence-based support, patient-centered care delivery and services consistent with the scope of a given a practice laws. Since data security is a is a significant concern for digital health devices, AMA encourages physicians to consult with legal counsel to ensure whether a given app meets privacy and security laws. The association also encourages physicians to discuss potential privacy and security risks with each patient and to document patient understanding of these risks.

There is not a clear precedent whether physicians who recommend or prescribe mobile health apps face liability risks, should a data breach expose patient health information. Moving forward, AMA is working to identify and assess these risks under federal and state medical liability, privacy and security laws.

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