This week the Federal Trade Commission made an unprecedented move to remove two medical apps from the Apple AppStore and Android Market on grounds that they made unsubstantiated efficacy claims. The apps both offered “light therapy” to treat a user’s acne. Both developers were ordered to pay back the monies they made by selling the apps to consumers.
While app stores have offered a number of apps just like AcneApps and Acne Pwner over the years, there are currently only five such apps available for download.
We wonder why these apps have not been removed from the Apple AppStore considering their offerings are similar to the offending apps mentioned above. Of the five, only one is a free app — which may explain why it has been left untouched.
Given the action it took against the developers of AcneApp and AcnePwner, here are five apps that in our opinion the FTC is likely to remove from the Apple AppStore. I’d be curious to hear if anyone thinks one or more of these apps don’t belong on this list and why.
M&R’s SkinApp. Description: “How to Use 1. Choose a light from the “Lights” tab. 2. Put the light screen at least 1cm from your skin for at least 3 minutes for each treatment. 3. To increase the relaxation effect, you may turn on iPod and listen to your favorite music during the treatment.” Like many of the apps listed here, SkinApp claims that it is “created for entertainment purposes only” and “not inten[d]ed for any medical purpose or to replace any treatment.” One of the apps that the FTC removed, however, also had a similar disclaimer.