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BYOD | Is Any Smartphone HIPAA Secure for Medical Providers?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 03:04 PM

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When President Obama came into office, there was quite an uproar about whether he'd continue to be able to use a smartphone for his communications. Eventually, a lab was established where experts worked for months to create a secure smartphone for the president to use and he's now often seen typing away on his device -- called "Blackberry One."

Of course, the president's security needs are a little greater than the average person's. But with 67% of nurses using their smartphones to support clinical communications and workflow, many BYOD issues are arising for institutions, and many medical providers are using smartphones for telemedicine and other uses. So, many people have wondered:

If the president wasn't cleared to use an off-the-shelf iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, is any smartphone actually HIPAA secure for medical uses?

The short answer is yes, but only if you use the devices in certain ways. Using a smartphone, like an iPhone, to make a call or send text messages may not be secure. That's why the president couldn't use it. Further, as we know, email is never HIPAA secure, much less on a smartphone.

However, logging into an app like iClickCare on your smartphone, Android, or iPhone is actually HIPAA secure. You're absolutely HIPAA safe and protecting PHI (protected health information), including patient data, pictures and videos of the patient, and collaborations with other medical professionals, if: 

  1. Data is NOT stored locally on the device
  2. The company that makes the app promises HIPAA compliance and does rigorous and constant checking of that HIPAA compliance.

So, yes -- use technology to care for your patients. Just be smart about using the right technology for the right use.

Curious what everyone means when they talk about Hybrid Store and Forward Telemedicine as the best way to collaborate in a HIPAA safe way? Get our free guide here: 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: telemedicine, HIPAA, HITECH, Personal Health Information, compliance

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