Unregulated AI Dermatology Apps Pose Threat to Users

Unregulated AI Dermatology Apps Pose Threat to Users - AI in Daily Life - News

Unveiling the Risks and Uncertainties Surrounding artificial intelligence (ai) Dermatology Mobile Applications: A Comprehensive Review


Recent advancements in artificial intelligence (ai) technology have led to the development of numerous health applications, including those focusing on dermatology. However, a study published in JAMA Dermatology raises significant concerns regarding the potential risks associated with these ai-integrated mobile applications (apps). In this article, we delve deeper into the findings of the study and discuss the implications of their results.

Inconsistent performance and lack of regulation

To assess the landscape of ai dermatology apps available in major app stores, researchers conducted a comprehensive review using terms such as “dermatology,” “derm,” and “skin.” From the initial 909 apps identified, only 41 underwent in-depth analysis after eliminating duplicates and non-eligible applications.

Alarmingly, none of the identified apps have received regulatory approval from bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), despite their claims to assist with various skin conditions. This lack of regulation, coupled with inconsistent performance among apps, raises concerns about their reliability and safety for medical purposes.

Transparency and privacy issues

One of the study’s key findings revolves around the lack of transparency in ai dermatology apps. Researchers highlighted that many apps did not provide sufficient information on the effectiveness of their ai models, including details about training and testing datasets, algorithm specifications, and clinician involvement.

Moreover, user privacy was compromised as many apps failed to disclose how submitted images would be handled. While some apps clarified that they do not store user images, others admitted storing them on secure cloud servers without providing adequate information on usage or data protection measures.

Implications and future research

The researchers emphasized the importance of investigating the clinical efficacy and safety of ai dermatology apps and the need for clear regulatory guidelines to protect patient safety and data privacy. They acknowledged the limitations of their study, such as regional availability and potential omission of international apps from their analysis, which calls for further research in this area.


The study highlights the need for stricter regulations and transparency measures in the development, validation, and use of ai dermatology apps. Patients must be well-informed about the potential risks and limitations of these tools to make informed decisions regarding their usage. As ai continues to evolve, it is crucial to ensure that its integration into healthcare does not compromise patient safety or privacy.