BELMONT, Mass. – Many health apps designed to assist dementia patients and their caregivers have inadequate security policies, or lack security policies altogether, researchers at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School have found. “No one using an app for a mental health-related reason should assume that privacy and security measures are in place,” said Dr. Ipsit Vahia, one of the researchers, in a statement. In a paper published recently in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the team of researchers said they analyzed privacy polices of iPhone apps that collect user-generated content. Of the 125 apps the team reviewed, 72 collected user-generated content, but only 33 had privacy policies available. Vahia said the research also points to a role for professional organizations and advocacy groups in helping educate mHealth consumers on how to best make decisions about using this technology.
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