One of the more exciting and innovating changes to health care lies in the development of devices that expand the ability of patients to better manage their health and communicate with care providers who can monitor and potentially diagnose and treat patients remotely with the aide of special devices. Those devices which allow automated communications between machines are considered part of the Internet of Things (IoT), which was the subject of a report just released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). IoTs do not include communications directly between tablets, smart phones, and computers, but would include a medical or fitness device that does communicate information through the Internet.

The FTC report considered discussion from four panels, one of which was focused specifically on “Connected Health and Fitness.” Recommended practices to protect consumer privacy and security were made at the end of the report. Of course, some devices may be subject to HIPAA and other health care specific privacy and security requirements. The FTC report includes additional points to consider.