WHO ends COVID-19 public health emergency, privacy concerns around mental health apps, and astronomical interest with medical credit cards.
WHO Ends Global Health Emergency for COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) has ended the Public Health Emergency of International Concern for the COVID-19 pandemic, reported NPR. Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, noted that the pandemic has been on a downward trajectory for more than a year, but cautioned that the “painful lessons we have learned cannot go to waste.”
Privacy Concerns Around Mental Health Apps
Researchers at Mozilla found that 40% of the mental health apps reviewed had worse privacy practices this year compared with 2022, according to the LA Times. Conversations around privacy of health data aren’t new, however; researchers have been discussing the topic for years, noting that health data has value even when it’s de-identified.
Medical Credit Cards, Loans Increase Rates of Interest Paid
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimated that between 2018 and 2020, Americans paid more than $1 billion in deferred interested on medical credit cards and through other medical financing options, according to NPR. Interest payments on these credit cards can inflate medical bills by nearly 25%, and the Biden administration has cautioned the public on the risks of these credit cards and loans for their medical bills.