Technology giants poised to reap billions from selling “wearables” and other personal health technology are furiously lobbying Capitol Hill with a strong message: Don’t regulate our Fitbits.
The Affordable Care Act calls for patients to become bigger players in their own health, and companies that make personal health devices want Medicare to incentivize doctors who encourage patients to use them.
As the market for the devices grows, however, the companies that make them and collect the data are coming under increasing scrutiny over privacy and security issues, because everything from heartbeats to insulin deficiencies will be stored on the devices and possibly on the cloud. Under the old Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), these devices – Fitbits, Jawbones and the like – aren’t covered. But some regulators and lawmakers believe that at least some of them should be regulated like other medical devices.
The tech industry is trying to stay one step ahead of the regulators, and Apple is leading the way.
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