The marketers of a mobile app designed to measure blood pressure have recently reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"), which charged that they deceived consumers with claims that their Instant Blood Pressure ("IBP") app was as accurate as a traditional blood pressure cuff. In addition, the FTC claimed that the owner of the company provided a positive review of the app, rating it "five stars" in the different app stores, without revealing his connection to the company.
The FTC's complaint describes how Aura Labs, Inc. sold the IBP app through Apple's App Store and Google Play for between $3.99 and $4.99, and how the sales of the app reached a value of greater than $600,000 during the period from June 2014 to June 2015. In marketing the app, the company argued that it could replace an actual medical device, yet offered no scientific evidence and also gave no disclaimers stating that such statement could be inaccurate.
Under the terms of the FTC settlement, the company and its owner are prohibited from making such unsupported and deceptive claims in the future, and they must reveal any material connections between Aura Labs and individuals who endorse its products. Moreover, the company was fined $595,945, but the fine was suspended due to its inability to pay.