The new era of mobile health tech has a big gotcha

New platforms from Samsung and Apple hold great promise, but they also feed into unrealistic hopes

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And you have to remember that the health care system is a legal minefield. Medical providers don't want your sensor data. If they take it, they're likely responsible for reviewing it, validating it, and acting on it. No way they can take that on -- you and I won't pay for that, your insurer won't, and the feds won't either. I say "likely" because no one knows what the line of responsibility actually is -- and no one wants to pay for all the lawsuits that eventually would draw that line.

The federal agency charged with changing health care is trying to map these boundaries, but it's a tough problem that will take years to figure out -- and get past the lobbyists and Congress.

In the meantime, we'll have a whole array of health-monitoring gadgets, data tracking services, and interpretive apps available. Some will be snake oil, some will be legit -- we'll have to figure that out the hard way.

The technology will certainly work in terms of what Apple and Samsung deliver. I have no doubt about their ability to create strong platforms on which great tools can run. But I also have no doubt that much of what will get developed will get only passing use and that much will be of dubious value.

Of course, you can say the same for any other such pervasive technology: For example, the Internet is full of scams, lies, trivia, and waste, but it is also full of amazingly useful, inspirational services and information. Just as most have have learned not to trust emails from Nigerian princes, solicitations from Craigslist, and free downloads of music, we'll have to learn not to trust every service and gadget that runs on Apple's and Samsung's technologies. And we'll have to learn that our doctors will want to use their tests, not ours, in deciding when and how to treat us.

This article, "The new era of mobile health tech has a big gotcha," was originally published at Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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