Why HIPAA Matters To mHealth Apps More Than Ever

Technology’s ever onward progress has led to the development of mobile “apps”. Software program packages that are developed to run on a computer or mobile device to realize a specific purpose are defined as “apps”. The rapid assimilation of mobile devices into medical practice has been guided by the rising availability and ever-improving quality of healthcare software applications. A landmark piece of legislation in the healthcare industry is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. It was primarily introduced to address the issue for insurance coverage for those who are changing their jobs. Over the years, several amendments have been made to the act. Now, it governs the security of protected healthcare information and restricts unauthorized access to healthcare data to ensure the prevention of healthcare fraud. 
Medical applications of mHealth apps can range from prescribing, diagnosis and treatment, practice management, drug reference guides, calorie calculators, to simple health exams, such as hearing, vision, and speech tests. The introduction of HIPAA has helped the healthcare industry in numerous ways. Its most significant contribution has been helping the industry transition from paper records of patient health information to digital copies. This has enabled hospitals to streamline their administrative healthcare functions and improve the efficiency of their organization. But most importantly HIPAA has ensured that a patient’s healthcare information is protected. HIPAA is extremely beneficial to patients as well. Without it, healthcare organizations would not be required to safeguard the patient’s healthcare information. The healthcare service providers would not have faced any repercussions even if sensitive health information was exposed or stolen. HIPAA strictly controls who has access to health data and even patients can decide who their data is shared with. 
Statistics indicate that there are 325,000 and increasing mobile health applications available on Google Play. The staggering amount of mHealth applications indicates that to develop a successful healthcare application, we need to consult an accredited technology solutions provider that can provide consultancy services and guarantee absolute user satisfaction.
The sheer number of applications available brings along with itself new challenges such as lack of functionality, improper testing, inaccurate data generation, etc. That’s why at Mindbowser we offer top of the line, efficient, and satisfying next-generation technology solutions. Mindbowser crafts impeccable digital healthcare solutions that are HIPAA compliant for health tech companies and healthcare institutions alike. We have extensive knowledge of HL7 and FHIR as well.

All About The HIPAA

Before we proceed any further, we must learn about HIPAA first. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is a federal law that necessitated the formulation of governmental standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the HIPAA Privacy Rule to fulfil the requirements set by HIPAA. The HIPAA Security Rule preserves a subset of information covered by the Privacy Rule.
The Privacy Rule standards specialize in the utilization and disclosure of individuals’ health information by entities accountable to the Privacy Rule. These organizations and individuals are called “covered entities.” The Privacy Rule also consists of regulations for individuals’ right to control how medical information is being employed. The main goal of the Privacy Rule is to verify that individuals’ sensitive information is satisfactorily protected while enabling the circulation of information needed to provide and promote high-quality health care. HIPAA also safeguards people’s right to seek care and healing.
Mindbowser ensures that all healthcare applications we develop to obey HIPAA rules and regulations.

ENTITIES THAT NEED TO BE HIPAA COMPLIANT

HIPAA is important as it amasses information from service providers that have a wider scope and is not limited to direct service providers.

SIGNIFICANCE OF HIPAA IN MOBILE HEALTH APPLICATIONS

We all know technology is never immune to abuse. Smartphones can be stolen or hacked and thus unauthorized access to sensitive information is always a possibility. This can lead to classified knowledge protected by HIPAA to be easily compromised. This is why we at Mindbowser undertake continuous efforts to be certain that our security measures are up to standard. We achieve this by following a series of measures outlined as follows:
  • Outlining a Line of Action

HIPAA has developed a series of tests that need to be cleared before any application can be deployed. We at Mindbowser always aim to pass all of the tests placed. We avoid making common mistakes by meticulous planning. Data security is preserved by augmenting various security tools available to us

  • Limited push notifications

Smartphone devices are vulnerable to viruses and hacking threats that enable push notifications. In accordance with HIPAA, Mindbowser ascertains that our applications never send unnecessary push notifications to our users.

  • HIPAA security rules and its conformity

Based on the current state of our application development and the estimated plan, there is another set of rules created by HIPAA. We double-check to make sure that we follow those rules:

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

The primary purpose of the Privacy Rule is to incorporate events where someone shares information. 

  • Security Rule

Security rules control how the data is stored securely over any electronic device.

  • HIPAA Enforcement Rule

The Enforcement rule outlines how effectively HIPAA laws are being followed by our application.

  • HIPAA Breach Notification Rule

Breach Notification Rule administers how unwarranted notifications are being handled in case of a hacking attempt.

App Development Workflow At Mindbowser

Our engineers develop mhealth apps for iOS and Android Mobile platforms using native as well as hybrid technologies. We have integrated apps with Apple HealthKit, Fitbit and other hardware devices. We provide end-to-end healthcare app development solutions to simplify booking doctors appointments.

Advantages Of MHealth App Development Applications

Mindbowser’s mHealth app developers build healthcare applications with several benefits, for both doctors and patients. The convenience and connectivity that mHealth provides have the potential to improve quality of life when used appropriately.
E-patient portal apps and mHealth apps can facilitate research and communication. Doctors can now prescribe wearables and apps to track medication adherence and treatment. With refined video and audio capabilities, mHealth apps and programs can aid people with disabilities or users in remote locations to access medical care at their ease. Further, apps can increase a company’s reputation and revenue.
Actually, mHealth app development is transforming the future of routine clinical care and medical research. With a boost in the use of smart devices, doctors and patients are now relying on health apps to facilitate diagnosis and treatment. Mindbowser’s mHealth app developers work with health professionals, regulatory bodies, and users to create effective and original mHealth apps as just one button can save a life and change healthcare practices worldwide.

EndNote

Abiding by HIPAA rules is imperative for healthcare-oriented applications. Obeying HIPAA prescribed standards ensures safeguarding your application from legal repercussions. A lot of work needs to be put in for a mHealth application to fully conform with HIPAA. Developers need to factor in the aforementioned points to maintain proper compliance. Preserving confidential information is of utmost importance for medical application development. At Mindbowser, we provide HIPAA approved healthcare solutions.

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