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Data is the most critical aspect of healthcare applications. And as new technologies are weaving into their ways, managing the security of software is getting more complex. Moreover, with increasing competition, customers demand convenience, safety, and engagement. Hence, focusing on HIPAA-compliant app development is essential if you are a healthcare service provider. With the assistance of a reliable healthcare app development company, you can build a powerful healthcare app with robust security measures. 

Challenges in the HIPAA-Compliant Healthcare App Development

Despite the premier security features, mobile apps are not free from the challenges and pitfalls. Here are some of those challenges and how to overcome them in HIPAA-compliant app development.

Not Defining App Objective

Not all healthcare applications fall under HIPAA law; thus, defining the app idea is essential. If your app will not store, use, or transmit protected health information, there is no need to follow HIPAA guidelines. However, if your app stores or shares PHI, it should be subjected to HIPAA compliance requirements.

Failure to Use Encryption

Once you discover your app needs to follow HIPAA guidelines, it becomes your responsibility to protect PHI as a reliable business owner. Hence, all the information stored or shared via your healthcare application must be encrypted. 

When your app fails to encrypt the data, it may lead to data breach, theft, or leak, putting HIPAA compliance at risk. This will cause your business to face a penalty from OCR. Moreover, sharing the data unprotected may endanger your application’s confidentiality and integrity, ruining your business’s hard-earned reputation.

Overlooking Breach Notification Rule

Despite taking all the precautions and implementing safety measures, there is a possibility that your application may encounter a potential data breach. In that case, HIPAA has already defined a set of regulations under the Breach Notification rule. 

It states that any breach identified must be reported to the affected individuals, authorities, and media outlets (if required). Failure to do so may lead to heavy penalties and other punishments. Therefore, ensure you notify the relevant authorities within the 60-day window. Read our blog on HIPAA-compliant app development guide to know how to build a healthcare app.

Not Disposing of Records Properly

It is essential to maintain users’ privacy, and it is even more important to take safety measures while disposing of medical records. Since electronic medical records cannot be put through a shredder, it requires the strict policy of HIPAA security rules for the disposition. 

The HIPAA policy requires your ePHI to be appropriately removed, covered, and erased from the system. The methods include overwriting patient data with other data or exposing the media to a strong magnetic field to disrupt the recorded domains.

Additionally, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the state law. If your app works in states where retention periods for data storage apply, HIPAA compliance security rules for disposing of medical regulations also apply to applications. 

Cyberattacks and Breaches

Another pitfall to avoid while building a HIPAA-compliant mobile app is implementing robust security measures. Cyberattacks and data breaches compromise the confidentiality of sensitive patient data, violating HIPAA laws, facing penalties, and ruining your business reputation. 

Many security measures can be taken by your application in order to safeguard it, such as:

  1. Multi-factor authentication
  2. Risk management assessment
  3. Penetration testing
  4. Operating system and software update logs
  5. Firewall logs
  6. Anti-malware logs
  7. Keeping software updated with the latest version

Also read: Voice Search Optimization in eCommerce Apps

Conclusion

We can conclude with this blog that security pitfalls are inevitable. However, taking precautions and advanced measures is always the best solution, regardless of the limitations of the software. 

You can build applications with an enhanced security scheme with tailor-made healthcare app development services. Moreover, hire a company that is well-versed in HIPAA compliance. Moreover, implementing robust security policies and measures is also imperative for HIPAA-compliant app development.

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