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Dec 17

HIPAA and Technology The Need to Know

cloud-serviceTechnology is consuming society more and more. With companies like Apple who release new iPhones every year or the continual competition for the fastest, smallest gadget – technology has taken over our world in many ways. The newest expansion is the “internet” of things, meaning devices link with each other over the Internet to collect data which can be sent back to companies such as health-care providers. The dark side to this is how much information can be leaked through technology over the Internet.

Medical information over the last few years has become electronic making it easier to expose through the Internet. Devices are capable of transmitting tons of personal information without notice. New technologies in the medical world use the Internet of things to communicate medical data to health-care providers or other doctors, which can be vulnerable to outside exposure.

The Federal Trade commission is working to protect individual’s rights against leaked personal information through the “Internet of things”. Trying to control the cyber scene is hard for the government due to the lack of monitoring capabilities. Being able to collect large amounts of data and information while communicating it to other devices is an expansion that many companies, including the medical industry sees as an a opportunity.

HIPAA’s new requirements focus more on these issues. With updated guidelines for PHI, Protected Health Information, patients have more rights. The penalties for dismissing or not abiding by the new regulations have increased in value to help protect against patients rights. Some of those new regulations include getting permission or patents from patients before any of their information can be used for research or other media forms.

Companies like Verizon. are finding another solution to introduce to healthcare providers. Cloud services, which are an online storage space for data that provides the ability to encrypt information before it’s stored on the system. Encrypting medical information will secure it from being leaked or exposed to unauthorized personnel. With the new HIPAA laws, both the business associate and subcontractors are liable for an information breach. Therefore the solution that cloud services offer that encrypts data before storing it helps to ensure therapists and other professionals are HIPPA compliant.

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