21 types of health apps the FDA could regulate but won't

By Aditi Pai

#3 GPS-enabled asthma management apps


"Mobile apps that use GPS location information to alert asthmatics of environmental conditions that may cause asthma symptoms or alert an addiction patient (substance abusers) when near a pre-identified, high-risk location;"

This is the first of two asthma-specific apps that the FDA has chosen to give a pass to because they are generally low risk. MobiHealthNews has been reporting on the development of GPS-enabled devices, like Propeller Health (formerly Asthmapolis), that help to alert asthmatics of air quality since 2009. Propeller Health, however, leverages a smartphone-enabled device that attaches to inhalers and that is FDA cleared already. An example of a standalone app that might better illustrate this "enforcement discretion" app might be the iAsthma GPS Tracker HD, which helps users understand what kind of environmental situations cause attacks.