Can Wearables Be HIPAA Compliant?
The use of wearable technology in the healthcare sector has many advantages, including the ability to check patient vitals and activity levels and to remind patients about appointments. They also have advantages that lower costs, such fewer visits to the doctor’s office.
The devices must abide by HIPAA Standards when protected health information (PHI) is involved. Therefore, it’s crucial to comprehend how HIPAA applies to wearable medical technology. Here are some important things to think about:
1. You must maintain HIPAA compliance if you need patient data.
Your wearable gadget should be HIPAA-compliant if it asks patients to furnish PHI as part of the manufacturing process. In order to track their activity levels, patients can freely supply personal information to wearable devices. For example, they can provide their age and weight to a wearable blood pressure monitor to get precise readings.
HIPAA, however, kicks in if the wearable’s healthcare practitioner needs such data. This is due to the integration of sensitive patient data with enterprise cloud storage, electronic health records (EHRs), and other technologies used by doctors’ offices, healthcare insurance companies, and healthcare providers.
These service providers are required by law to abide with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which calls for protecting patient data.
2. You’ll Have to Let the Patients Know
Giving patients information that informs them that their information is being gathered is another requirement for protecting patient data. Providers are required by HIPAA to disclose their data gathering practises to patients.
This includes describing how data is gathered, kept, and used, as well as why it is used. The users of that device must be made aware of your privacy and security procedures and rules if your healthcare institution collects data from wearable devices, such as the sleep patterns provided through an Apple Watch app.
3. Your Wearable Might Need Too Much Data
The minimal required condition set forth in The Privacy Rule must be followed in order to comply with HIPAA. In accordance with this regulation, healthcare practitioners must restrict the data they obtain and PHI requests they make to what is strictly necessary to carry out the wearable device’s stated function.
For instance, the information your business gathers must be restricted to that information if the wearable device your business is selling is designed to track and monitor your patient’s progress as they exercise. In other words, if the user’s location is not required to complete the task, your business shouldn’t be asking for information to track the progress of exercise.