“UC Riverside professor of psychology Aaron Seitz had an idea for a mobile health app based on his area of research.…Seitz is the academic behind UltimEyes, the vision improvement app that got dinged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for $150,000 last week for making deceptive claims about the app’s efficacy.
Aside from the money owed, Seitz and Goldberg agreed to stop making claims about the mobile app’s ability to improve vision. Prior to the FTC’s involvement, promotional material and language on the UltimEyes website (still available on the Apple and Google Play app stores, for $5.99) said the app was “scientifically shown” to do just that.
The FTC complaint against Carrot Neurotechnology lists an array of related assertions on that theme, including one that the app improved vision an average of 31 percent and two lines on the standard Stellen eye chart, and another that it helps mitigate presbyopia, the gradual loss of the ability to focus on nearby objects…
Seitz has laid out his concerns in an open letter on his UC Riverside faculty page, asking friends and colleagues to post supportive comments with the FTC during the public comment period…“The government really needs to be listening to scientists here,” he said. “They ignored experts we brought to testify and the scientific literature…
Enforcement actions like the one against UltimEyes are probably going to happen more frequently, says Bradley Merrill Thompson, a lawyer…“The agreement is the next step in a whole series of cases the FTC has brought with respect to mobile applications,” he said. Last month, the FTC barred a company from making claims that the“Mole Detective” line of apps could detect melanoma.”
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