Health care is a booming industry and a foundational part of global economic growth. Numerous healthcare institutes, web-based support systems, and mobile health apps have sprung up in the wake of Covid-19. With a vast database and millions of users, it becomes laborious but necessary to keep the user’s privacy protected. Mobile apps that comply with HIPAA regulations are gaining popularity in this sector to protect the users’ right to privacy. Users and developers alike may rest easy knowing that the software they use complies with HIPAA’s stringent security requirements. Let’s discuss the HIPAA act and how to create HIPAA-compliant mobile apps. Let’s check the guide on Mobile App HIPAA Compliance.
What does HIPAA stand for?
Legislation known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs how insurance information can be exchanged. Patty Murray, a senator from Washington state and the act’s primary supporter, is honored by having her name attached to it. In the year 1996, this piece of legislation was approved by the government and made into law. It was a piece of legislation passed by Congress and officially signed into law in 1996. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Statute, more commonly referred to by its abbreviation HIPAA, was used as the foundation for naming the act that currently bears its name. HIPAA is also known by its full name, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.HIPAA was named after its acronym, which stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA was created to protect PHI (Personal Health Information) from unauthorized and unlawful disclosure. As a result, we can infer that without HIPAA, our healthcare system would implode because millions of people’s private information would be made public.
Protected Health Information (PHI) gives people a wide range of rights regarding the information they provide to healthcare providers. The HIPAA Privacy Rule safeguards personal health information.
Why Is HIPAA Compliance Necessary for Healthcare Apps?
There are serious security and privacy issues associated with healthcare apps that do not adhere to HIPAA regulations. Information about a person’s health can be greatly abused, and this happens regularly. HIPAA infractions are the focus of this infographic, which includes a slew of stats.
Apps must adhere to HIPAA to prevent this from happening, as mobile phones can represent major security issues if accessed.
How to Build a HIPAA-compliant App
Legally, HIPAA is a vast document. When it comes to apps, it can take a long time to understand the rules. The cost of developing a HIPAA-compliant app can be prohibitive even if you’ve figured out all the details. While HIPAA compliance isn’t required, here are the essentials of HIPAA.
It would help to protect a user’s PHI for your app to be HIPAA compliant. When they talk about “protected health information,” they are talking about anything that has to do with healthcare, whether it’s medical records or financial transactions (hospital bills, insurance, etc.). Under U.S. law, this information is protected on a federal level, and anyone who misuses it can be held liable. This is the guide on Mobile App HIPAA Compliance.
What Kind of Apps need to comply with HIPAA?
HIPAA regulations apply to the following apps:
- Health insurance apps,
- Hospital and clinic apps,
- Health report apps,
- Medical insurance apps,
- Medical loan businesses,
- Health information databases.
Creating such an app necessitates extra caution when working with user data and implementing robust security and encryption measures in your apps. Your app must be examined by the government regularly for security breaches. Other protections, including administrative, physical, and documentation safeguards, must also be included.
Your app must also have a cloud database server and no data saved on the physical devices of users and app admins. It is essential. In public networks, it’s also a good idea to use TLS to secure communication between servers and devices. You’ll also require HIPAA certification to put your app on the market.
It may sound simple, but it can cost you more than you bargained for. You will need to update each feature constantly and each product iteration to be HIPAA compliant as technology advances. HIPAA-compliant apps can cost up to $120,000 to produce on average. The annual upkeep of that app might reach a whopping 50,000 dollars. So, how do you design a HIPAA-compliant app??
What are the main features of a HIPAA Complaint Application?
The first step to developing HIPAA-compliant software is to learn about its key features:
Identification of the Person Using the System
If you allow your mobile app’s users to log in through email, you’re putting their personal information in danger. Authentication for HIPAA-compliant apps should employ a strong password or PIN. Implementing biometric identification, face recognition, or a smart key or card is possible.
Accessibility in Case of Emergency
Access to healthcare data must be made as simple as possible and maintained no matter what. In times of emergency, those who provide medical care have a responsibility to ensure that essential services and utilities are not disturbed.
Consequently, you must be ready for unexpected events, such as a loss of electricity.
Encryption of data
In healthcare apps, data encryption is essential to ensure that sensitive information is protected. This feature also provides additional protection against harmful viruses and breaches.
If you’re a health care practitioner, don’t send any sensitive information by email. Make sure you encrypt all your data, no matter where you store it.
Encryption of Data in Transit
You must encrypt your data during transmission to ensure optimal security. Solutions that are TLS 1.2 compatible, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and others, may be utilized to ensure the safety of communications.
Using these new tools, you can meet HIPAA’s encryption, authentication, and identity requirements.
HIPAA-required personal health information
The following patient data, together with health information, was considered PHI by the U.S. HSS:
- Patient’s name
- Subdivisions of the country more minor than a state
- Including but not limited to the patient’s phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses
- Their Social Security Numbers, medical record numbers, and postal office addresses. Voiceprints and fingers.
- Health plan beneficiary numbers.
- Web URLs.
- Account numbers for certificates and licenses.
- Identifiers for the devices themselves, such as fingerprints or voiceprints.
Steps to create HIPAA Complaint Apps
They have put together a step-by-by-step tutorial to help you build a HIPAA-compliant app. To fully comprehend the method, read the instructions. Let’s check the guide on Mobile App HIPAA Compliance.
Step 1: Hire a professional
You’ll need experience if you want to build a HIPAA-compliant app. A third-party expert is necessary if you lack the required experience. HIPAA-compliant app development can also be outsourced to a competent team.
Whatever the size of your business, you need to hire an expert to develop the app to the highest standards. HIPAA-compliant apps can be created by a wide range of experts in the market.
Step 2: Analyzing the data and determining how PHI differs from other available options
Data about the patient should be kept separate from PHI data. Afterward, determine whether PHI data you are unable to transfer or store.
Step 3: It’s time for 3rd-Party Solutions.
The expense of developing an app that complies with HIPAA regulations is high. To begin creating the application, you must have sufficient funds to cover the project’s total cost.
Designing the complete system to meet HIPAA-compliant app development’s technical and physical security requirements costs a lot. Aside from the audits and certifications, you’ll need a lot of time.
Misinformation and errors are less likely to occur when using these applications.
Step 4: Encrypt Stored and transferred data
HIPAA-compliant apps ensure that patients’ private information is protected. Healthcare businesses must utilize programs that secure patient identity and personal data to maintain patient confidentiality.
Encrypting patient data is critical when creating a HIPAA-compliant app. Ensure that no one’s right to privacy is infringed upon. To prevent the device’s data from being misused, it is essential to encrypt all stored and transferred data.
Step 5: Perform a security test on your app.
You must test your application after it has been designed. It’s also critical to run tests on the app after each upgrade. Statistical and dynamic testing of the application is a must. Additionally, get the advice of a professional to be sure your records are up to date.
Step 6: Continue to monitor and update your software.
Keeping your application up-to-date is a never-ending task. It aids in the prevention of intrusions into your application. It would help if you kept your security checks up to date to protect your app. To keep your HIPAA-compliant app safe from unauthorized access, you must keep it up-to-date regularly.
To design a HIPAA Compliant Application
Because building your own HIPAA software from the ground up is too expensive, HIPAA-compliant companies have two options. Developing an application on your own may be costly. Still, other options, such as working with a company specializing in app development, can be more cost-effective. Your HIPAA app can also be built by a third-party developer you know and trust.
Do You Want to Create a HIPAA Compliance Mobile App for Your Hospital?
Patients, software vendors, and medical institutions face considerable costs and inconveniences if medical data is compromised or inaccurate. By following HIPAA guidelines, developers can rest assured that their apps will not infringe on patients’ privacy or harm their reputations. It is necessary for the app first to verify that all of its features are HIPAA compliant to safeguard the confidentiality of PHI. You can immediately get started on the process of designing your app with the assistance of professionals.