Digital Health Legal
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Volume: 5 Issue: 4
(April 2018)

Keywords:
when health tech goes wrong pays patient harm world health apps healthcare apps present unprecedented opportunities transform way healthcare delivered

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US UK

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When health tech goes wrong: who pays for patient harm in the world of health apps?

Healthcare apps present unprecedented opportunities to transform the way healthcare is delivered, but these new media for delivering healthcare bring with them novel risks and challenges. The speed at which this area of healthcare is growing points to future claims for harm caused to patients and issues of risk and responsibility that are already intricate in clinical negligence litigation, and which are potentially made more complicated when traditional healthcare is shifted into the digital arena. Dan Morris, Partner at Bevan Brittan LLP, in this article discusses the evolving lines of responsibility relating to health apps when an end user suffers harm, and that whilst app developers might primarily be concerned with trying to shoehorn an app into a particular regulatory category, they should not assume that a particular designation will protect them from ultimate responsibility for fault where harm arises. Dan also shares his reaction to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (‘FDA’) determination that Matis’s My Baby’s Beat app is a non-medical device.

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