What’s the ‘best’ example of ‘Digital Quackery’ you’ve seen?

Everyone’s getting worried these days about a new breed of quacks: app developers making health claims.

Interesting to note that some of those pointing the finger (eg. the American Medical Association) have already turned around once they arrived at the convenient conclusion that they’re ‘snake oil’ unless they pay us a few quid to certify they’re good.

It’s all given me an idea to compile a list of the best examples of “Digital Quackery”. I’ll kick off the list with a few I’ve seen and please feel encourage to add your favorites in the comments (with the reasons):

> The NHS Trust (University College London) that ordered a £400Million EHR from EPIC that was so incompetent at adopting tech that when they bought every member of staff an iPad the majority ended up in store cupboards.

> The Cove (music making app for young people experiencing bereavement) app that a NHS Hospital (St Mary’s in Paddington) wasted their money building.

> The ‘free’ app the NHS Royal Free got for their dialysis Patients to use (they paid for it by giving Google the comprehensive detailed medical records on 1.6Million unconsenting Patients).

> The video Doctor visit companies that masquerade as inexpensive quick ways to get a prescription but are really in the lucrative business of trading Patient data.

> The NHS’s £12+ Billion National Program for Information Technology (NPFit) that introduced an EHR concept that didn’t give Patients access to information even though we know how ridiculous this situation is.

> The Royal College of General Practitioners who ran a Video Consultation Skills Course  that wasn’t live-streamed or video recorded and was led by a GP who didn’t offer video consults and didn’t have a website.

Doctors in wealthy regions of the world ignoring Infection Control issues when experimenting with mHealth on the poor.

> Inefficient Digital Health ‘innovations’ that will lead to an explosion in costs while providing no benefit over the analogue alternatives.

About David Doherty

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