HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are absolutely everywhere, in every industry. You will find them helping with managing patient records in healthcare as well as defining the end user demands and catering to them in the fashion industry.
Big brands such as Apple and Google are employing their resources to identify gaps that can be resolved with their healthcare apps and fitness wears. While this is a good initiative by most developers towards Healthcare Technology, there are certain things that simply can’t be avoided. Complying with Protected Health Information (PHI) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). You assure the healthcare industry as well as the individuals’ complete protection of the information they have given you. It is important to ensure your mobile app is HIPPA compliant before moving forward with the entire project.
There are a few points you will need to consider when developing a mobile app compliant to HIPPA for the healthcare industry.
Security of Information
According to certain regulations, your mobile app requires to be HIPPA compliant only when the covered entities and the business associates access or take care of the PHI. If you have a mobile app that takes care of the PHR, and you decide to develop a mobile app for the general public, the whole app and the records are defined outside the HIPPA limit. Everything depends on what is PHI, and what is not.
When you have information that can help in identifying the patient, it is PHI. Let’s say you have a medical history, their address, zip code or, any other traceable information, you are dealing with PHI content, and you should protect the content from becoming public.
In case, you attempt to compromise such information, you will be facing penalties from the department of health and human services. It is always a good idea to have a mobile app that can keep your information secure. Thus, ensure HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Mobile Apps.
What is covered entities in HIPPA? Health plans, healthcare providers as well as healthcare clearing houses are all included in the CE for HIPPA. The app, if allows transaction against services or insurance coverage should be included in the HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Mobile Apps.
In this case, you need to sign the business associate agreement, which will help you transfer the information to the business, under the accord that it will stay protected and the privacy will be maintained for the information.
The medical device can be everything that attends to the decision-making process and would become the decision support system requiring FDA certification. This will not be treated as a data warehouse, unlike the other storage devices used for keeping the data.
Who is accountable?
In the case of healthcare, there is just too much information that needs to be protected. You would need to be ethical and keep the consumer’s information private. The providers are bound by legal agreements to keep the information as secure as possible, which makes them accountable for the information.
It is important to take into account the app scalability and expansion of the CE definition in the coming future. This is why the system should make the accountability clear.
The quality of data matters when you are dealing with healthcare app, and you cannot use the information made available from the consumer devices. You would need EMR from the hospitals to get information that is reliable, and accordingly explore the information.
When you are dealing with mobile devices specifically, you will need to keep the information protected even when the devices are stolen or they are lost by the owners. Mobile is used for multiple purposes, making it easy for anyone to grab hold of sensitive information. In fact, the push notifications within the app can also go against the HIPPA regulations. Even if the app is not meant to share the personal information, there would be instances when the app user would share glimpses of personal information, which can go against the HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Mobile Apps. With a touchscreen, you are more likely to have easy passwords that can be hacked into, thus compromising the information.
Thus, it has become important for every software developer to follow the HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Mobile Apps to keep the information safe and take the accountability of the information into priority. You need to be completely aware of the information that is private and the ones that can be loosely used in other apps as well.
You should ideally check whether the device is classified as a medical device or not, and the software system which is used to keep a check on the information is for HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Mobile Apps or not. The checks will help you ensure you have accounted for the privacy concerns and made sure the information is secure.
Sodio offers mobile apps for the healthcare industry that are HIPPA compliant, specifically for the apps that contain PHI. We ensure complete understanding of the app requirements, and offer viable solutions.