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Babylon app will be properly regulated to ensure safety, government insists

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3215 (Published 23 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3215
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The Department of Health and Social Care has sought to assuage concerns over the regulation of Babylon Health’s GP at Hand app, after the Glasgow GP and BMJ columnist Margaret McCartney raised the issue with MPs.

Self diagnosis apps or symptom checkers, such as the one available to patients who join the GP at Hand service, are becoming increasingly popular.

McCartney outlined her concerns about Babylon’s health app to Sarah Wollaston, former GP and the chair of the health select committee, who wrote to the former health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, about the issues raised.

She was worried that the app missed symptoms, that it generated a high rate of false positives, and that regulators (the Care Quality Commission, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and the Advertising Standards Authority) considered the app to be outside their regulatory remit.

In Hunt’s …

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