Securing Medical Data on Smartphones

Secure sms

Secure text messages and other communications can be important for all kinds of professional practices, but they are especially important for medical communications between doctors and patients. Maintaining a certain level of privacy and confidentiality for medical and patient information is required under HIPAA, and failing to do so can have consequences for medical care providers. However, new technologies have emerged to allow you to communicate with your patients with normal communications media, like secure text messaging, without running afoul of HIPAA. Secure texting and email on smartphones is convenient for both you and your patients.

The proliferation of smartphones and similar devices has made communication through a variety of media; like calls, emails, and text messages, easy and convenient for professionals and other people. However, these devices often have limited security, despite their constant access to the internet. Without additional software, communications sent by them are not sufficiently secure to meet the requirements of HIPAA. The security of personal, employee owned devices like these is a major problem in the healthcare industry. However, new apps available for these devices can send sensitive medical data in an encrypted form from these devices to patients’, making them and any medical data stored or distributed on them HIPAA compliant.

Right now, the Netherlands leads the world in the transition from paper to digital files in the healthcare industry, with 99% of practitioners using digital filing. However, only 46% of medical practitioners use electronic filing in the US, so this issue is likely to grow a lot in the future. New mobile healthcare applications can help to speed up this transition by keeping digitally stored and distributed healthcare records, including secure text messages, compliant with the relevant privacy laws in America.

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