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October 2012

New mHealth technology brings HIPAA compliance vulnerabilities

As if U.S. health care providers' chief information officers and their HIPAA compliance officer colleagues don't have enough to worry about, here's one more thing: The convergence of mobile and mHealth technology with updated federal privacy and security regulations brings a whole new round of patient privacy and security challenges. In an epoch of health care reform, mHealth technology and new laws, such as the Affordable Care Act and updated HIPAA requirements, are propelling a "massive" cultural change in the health care sector right now, pointed out attorney Catherine Barrett, lead health care consultant for Mitre Corp. and an eHealth Initiative policy fellow. "Health care has been stuck in paper for a very, very long time," she said. "[Patient privacy and security are] a work in progress." Yet with the right approach to locking down data -- and following forthcoming guidance from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) -- HIPAA compliance can be managed for wireless health technologies such as bring your ...

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