Should Pain Management Apps be Regulated?


Some pain management apps are not created by health professionals with experience, licenses and training. Since pain management apps may be created by those who are not bona fide medical experts, some people believe that these apps should be regulated.

Research indicates that the majority of pain management apps don’t have evidence-based features or have been approved / developed by a health care professional. This means that the techniques used and advice given through these apps, may not help users to access safer pain relief.

This lack of evidence-based features and healthcare involvement is the primary reason as to why many medical experts believe that such apps should be regulated.

Health care professionals are known as HCPs for short and the lack of input by HCPs means that many pain management apps may not be the smart choice for those who are experiencing chronic or sporadic pain. People need expert guidance and education as it relates to pain management. The best resource for this type of guidance and education is a health care professional.

At present, eighty percent of pain management apps do not contain input from health care professionals. This is not good news and future regulation of these types of apps may help app users to access truly beneficial education and pain management strategies. Until then, most apps which are produced will likely fail to measure up in terms of offering pain management facts and information which are evidence-based and truly helpful.

In short, there is a danger that people are receiving tips and facts which aren’t accurate or beneficial. In some cases, apps which don’t have evidence-based features may do more harm than good. It’s this fear that drives the actions of those who want to regulate pain management apps. It’s about protecting people and ensuring that they get the facts and support that they need in order to understand how pain works and how pain should be managed.

What Do You Think?

Many health care professionals are not impressed by the array of pain management apps out there in the online marketplace. They think that regulation will promote the creation of apps which are truly helpful to those who download and use them.

However, others think that anyone should be able to create any app that he or she wants, regardless of their credentials. Apps for almost everything under the sun are out there and it’s all about free enterprise and initiative.

If apps of this type are regulated, app developers will need to consult HCPs in order to get health care facts and pain management advice. Only time will tell if regulation is in the cards.