How Important Is It For Your App To Be HIPAA-compliant?

HIPAA is a U.S. federal law enacted in 1996 that sets standards for storing patients’ information. It is mandatory for doctors, insurance companies, clinics, and others. Violation can lead to serious fines and legal consequences.

HIPAA includes protecting patients, and making sure that only those who are authorized to do so have access to this information. This includes measures such as staff training, developing policies, and procedures, controlling access to information, etc. And today we’re going to talk about how to make an app HIPAA compliant

Perspectives of building a mobile app in the medical field

Creating a mobile app in the medical field can have many prospects, as it makes services more accessible and convenient for patients and professionals. Here are a few potential prospects:

  • Mobile apps allow for quick consultations and services from the comfort of one’s own home. Mobile apps allow healthcare providers to quickly get patient information, including their history, and share information and advice with each other.
  • You can help clinics streamline their processes and increase their efficiency. For example, apps can help manage records and schedule physicians. It can also reduce the risks of errors in processing information and improve safety for patients and healthcare providers.
  • Mobile apps can help collect data on patient health and behavior, which can be useful for research and creating new treatments. However, legislation and security and privacy requirements for information must be considered to prevent possible risks.

HIPAA-compliant apps — what should be considered first?

HIPAA-compliant apps process patient data and must be compliant as they protect the integrity and availability of this information. Apps can store highly sensitive data such as diagnoses, treatments, and other data that could be used by malicious parties for malicious purposes such as fraud.

The regulations establish certain requirements for processing data, including security requirements, staff training, etc. If a project uses such information, it must follow these requirements to provide strong protection as well as to prevent patient rights violations.

When is it necessary to create a HIPAA-compliant app?

Healthcare services if they store or transmit patient information in the US have to make their apps HIPAA-compliant. These could be platforms used in hospitals and clinics, insurance companies, pharmacies, labs, telemedicine, mobile health apps, and others. It is mandatory for all organizations that have access to patients’ information. Failure to comply can result in serious fines and legal consequences. So, in general, any mobile app that handles protected health information (PHI) must be HIPAA-compliant if it is being used by a covered entity or a business associate of a covered entity.

Examples of mobile apps that may require HIPAA compliance include:

  1. Electronic health record (EHR) apps that store and manage patient health records.
  2. Patient engagement apps that allow patients to schedule appointments, access their health records, and communicate with healthcare providers.
  3. Telehealth apps that provide remote healthcare services to patients.
  4. Health and wellness apps that collect and store health-related data, such as fitness tracking apps, weight loss apps, and sleep tracking apps.
  5. Medical research apps that collect and analyze health-related data for research purposes.
  6. Clinical decision support apps that provide healthcare providers with diagnostic and treatment recommendations.

If you are developing a mobile app that handles PHI for a covered entity or as a business associate, it is important to consult with legal counsel to determine your obligations under HIPAA and ensure that your app meets all necessary requirements.

HIPAA-compliant apps features

A HIPAA-compliant app must perform a lot of functions that directly affect the protection of user data. Some of these features include:

  • Encryption of data during transmission and storage.
  • Authentication and authorization.
  • The ability to provide role-based access policies.
  • Monitoring and journaling to make sure access is tracked and audited.
  • Training for personnel who have access to sensitive information.
  • Protection against malicious attacks: such as viruses, DDoS, and others.
  • Risk management measures to prevent breaches.

How to make a HIPAA-compliant app

Before embarking on such a project, assess the risks associated with data processing and conduct a risk analysis to identify vulnerabilities and potential threats. Next, there are a lot of steps to follow:

  • Develop a data processing policy, including encryption, authentication and authorization, access restrictions, monitoring, and journaling.
  • Create the architecture for the application, including security measures such as data encryption, authentication and authorization, access restrictions, and monitoring.
  • Guarantee protection of patient data.
  • Train staff to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.
  • Conduct system audits to detect and correct any vulnerabilities and problems.
  • If the application uses cloud-based services, you must work with a provider that is also HIPAA-compliant or a firm that helps you with that transition, like Duplocloud.

The process of achieving this can be complex and requires careful planning. However, if you successfully make a HIPAA-compliant app, it will increase user confidence in your product.

What technologies are used in HIPAA-compliant app development? 

There are a variety of technologies and tools you need to use to protect your privacy. Some of them are:

  • Data encryption is the process of converting readable text into obscure encrypted text that can only be read if you have a decryption key.
  • Authentication is the process of authentication, and authorization is the process of determining a user’s access rights. 
  • Important, that all of each patient’s information be available only to authorized individuals. Role models, group policies, etc. are used to enforce this.
  • You must watch access and keep a log of all transactions related to data access.
  • Protection against DDoS attacks.
  • Data backup and recovery.
  • Regular audits to detect potential threats and problems.

The cost of developing a HIPAA-compliant app

The lion’s share of the cost depends on what requirements must be met. Also, additional requirements set by industry standards may need to be considered. The budget can vary widely and depends on many factors, including the following:

  • Cost depends on what features and capabilities you want to provide. More complex applications that handle more data may require more time and resources.
  • The complexity of architecture and technology. 
  • The need for integration with other systems.
  • The budget can vary depending on where the developers are located. 

Many factors influence the final cost of implementing a project. The final amount can vary from a few thousand to several million dollars. However, despite the high cost, it is important to protect privacy.


Failure to comply can lead to serious legal consequences. Moreover, privacy breaches can lead to serious consequences for patients. You need to fully understand the requirements and how they apply. You need to know what rules need to be followed, what types of data are considered protected, and what measures need to be taken.

You need to develop a plan that describes the measures used to protect it. The plan should describe how you will comply. Appropriate technology and data protection methods should be used. This may include encryption, multi-factor authentication, and role-based access only. All employees should be trained and understand the security measures.

Your application should be updated regularly to address vulnerabilities. And remember, only with this professional approach is it possible to win your place in the existing market.

Richard Maxwell

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