In a lawsuit against Aura Labs and its president and CEO, Ryan Archdeacon, the Federal Trade Commission alleges that the company falsely claimed its Instant Blood Pressure app could serve as a replacement for a traditional blood pressure cuff and measure blood pressure just as accurately.
However, Aura’s app reported blood pressure based on data calculated by Aura along with the user’s age, gender, height, and weight. The FTC said the blood pressure readings from the app were inaccurate when compared to a traditional blood pressure cuff.
The FTC also alleges the defendants falsely represented that endorsements were from ordinary people when one was from Archdeacon. The law says that reviewers should disclose their connection to a company.
The FTC’s order prohibits the defendants from claiming that the app measures blood pressure or serves as a replacement for a traditional blood pressure cuff without having scientific support to back up the claims. The order also prohibits the defendants from making other health claims relating to the app or any other device without scientific support, or failing to disclose their connections with reviewers.
It’s fine to go online or use an app to learn more about various health issues, but it’s best to check with your health care professional before relying on an app to diagnose, detect, or monitor a medical condition, Colleen Tressler, FTC consumer education specialist, said.