FDA may regulate mobile health apps

By on July 22, 2011 at 12:00 AM.

FDA may regulate mobile health apps

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration may soon approve or reject mobile health applications. The government agency said on Wednesday that it is proposing to oversee the applications in an effort to ensure the apps perform as advertised and aren’t actually hurting users. “There are advantages to using medical apps, but consumers and health care professionals should have a balanced awareness of the benefits and risks,” FDA policy advisor Bakul Patel said. The administration hopes to approve and reject mobile applications that:

  • Are used as an accessory to an FDA-regulated medical device. For example, an app could enable a health care professional to view medical images on an iPad and make a diagnosis;
  • Transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device. For example, an app that turns a smartphone into an electrocardiography, or ECG, machine to detect abnormal heart rhythms or determine if a patient is experiencing a heart attack.

“We want to hear from as many consumers, advocacy groups, health care professionals, and software creators and distributors as possible to help us finalize the proposed guidelines,” Patel said. The proposed guidelines will be published on Wednesday.

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Verizon COO: AT&T/T-Mobile merger will ‘probably go through’

By on July 21, 2011 at 3:35 PM.

Verizon COO: AT&T/T-Mobile merger will ‘probably go through’

Speaking during a recent Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, Verizon’s Chief Operating Officer Lowell McAdam said he expects AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA to be approved by government regulators. “I’d say the merger will probably go through,” McAdam said. “It’s a merger AT&T probably had to do.” While other carriers such as Sprint have been vocal in their opposition of the deal, Verizon has remained relatively quiet. According to Reuters, McAdam said he was surprised AT&T hadn’t purchased T-Mobile sooner and that the deal “makes sense.” On Wednesday, Senate Antitrust Subcommitee chairman Herb Kohl called on the FCC and the Justice Department to block the merger and said the deal would be “contrary to antitrust law and not in the public interest.” AT&T quickly shot down Kohl’s statement and said Kohl ignored “the many positive benefits and numerous supporters of the transaction.” Among those supporters is Senator Mike Lee, who argued that the “mobile phone market is a critical component of our nation’s economy and the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile deserves careful review.” More →

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IEEE rubber-stamps next generation 802.16m WiMAX standard

By on April 2, 2011 at 7:44 AM.

IEEE rubber-stamps next generation 802.16m WiMAX standard

The IEEE Standards Association has given its seal of approval to the next generation WiMAX standard, dubbed 802.16m. The new standard supports a “wide range of data rates in multiple user environments” and has a theoretical maximum throughput of around 300Mbps. “We are delighted that IEEE has recognized the completion of this comprehensive technical effort that has involved hundreds of creative and diligent professionals from over twenty countries during the last four years,” said Dr. Roger Marks, Chairman of the 802.16 Working Group. “Our organization was able to efficiently harmonize these innovative technologies into a clear set of specifications guiding the future development of the mobile broadband marketplace.” The standards group notes that 802.16m will provide the speed and performance necessary to “support future advanced services and applications for next generation broadband mobile communications.” The full press release is after the break. More →

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Apple approves official Google Voice application for iOS?

By on September 28, 2010 at 7:05 AM.

Apple approves official Google Voice application for iOS?

TechCrunch is reporting that “a source close to Google” has revealed that Apple has already approved an official, Google-created, Google Voice application for iOS. The report states that the app is “on its way to the iPhone in the next few weeks.” Where the report gets confusing is here: “Google just needs to revamp the application to work with the iPhone 4 and iOS’s multitasking capabilities.” We were unaware that Apple approved apps that didn’t work yet? Regardless, if you rely heavily on Google Voice on your iPhone — and don’t fully trust some of the other, third-party offerings — this is definitely good news. More →

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