Mobile App Developers at a HIPAA Crossroad

Mobile App Developers at a HIPAA Crossroad

Originally posted 2018-11-19 11:21:38

By Erin Holbrook |

hipaaApp developers in the health industry are asking for more information and guidance from Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about HIPAA and how it affects the apps they are creating.

With the new year just a few days away, more and more people are getting in shape, working out and tracking a lot of it using their cell phones or other devices like fitbit, etc. There is a surge of new technology that is helping us take better charge of our health and our lives. Also, there are more developers that are working hard to create these apps that we use.

These developers are finding that the hurdles are high when it comes to HIPAA rules and regulations when creating an application that has to do with health and healthcare. Not much information or guidance is available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) when it comes to mobile app developers and the rules set forth by HIPAA. So little is given for guidance that many developers are avoiding building these types of apps entirely. There is much resistance on both sides of the spectrum, app developers shying away from HIPAA regulations, and health care providers saying “no” to apps that have HIPAA concerns.

ACT – The App Association and some of their mobile health company members have written a letter to Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) urging Congress to push HHS to make HIPAA regulations clearer for mobile app developers. And to make this information more accessible to the public and the developers themselves. In this letter ACT also points out that publishing this information on the Federal Register is not the best way to deliver this information to the app developers. The letter also details that HHS should seek out the developers via different channels, as opposed to waiting for developers to come to them when they need information.

Do you think that these letters to Congress and subsequent urges to HHS will help mobile app developers navigate the HIPAA regulations better? Will more information about HIPAA and how it affects the cloud and mobile apps encourage app developers to do more in the health arena?



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Key words: HIPAA, Congress, HHS, cloud, mobile app developers, health

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