4 Blindspots That Put Patient Data At Risk


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App development initiates with an affluent insight of what you would like the medical app to do, for whom, and the setting it will be operating in. It is important for mobile developers to design and create mobile apps with healthcare data security that can avoid data breaching and help individuals feel secure and get the healthcare they need. 

Mobile medical apps are a developing mechanism for healthcare delivery through a progressively complex network of information technology systems connecting doctors, patients, pharmacists, nurses, and medical devices. Typically, these apps are designed to amass, measure and transmit personal health data, required to be protected through legislation and regulations.

With the integration of mobile medical apps into the healthcare industry, the multitude of sensitive personal health data transmitted across several applications, technologies, and networks is growing. As per a recent study, over 32% of consumers who purchase wearable technology tend to use it for health and clinical reasons, including fitness. This raises queries about compromised patient privacy as well as the healthcare data security associated with mobile applications. 

Apart from developing a user-friendly and cost-effective healthcare app, your application needs to understand its users, should be adaptable, and also undergo regular quality assurance testing. Considering healthcare data security as a prime concern while developing a mobile medical app, there are few loopholes that can go unnoticed by the developer. 

1. Don’t Overlook security concerns in the development phase

Building a mobile medical app has its own challenges as developers tend not to be security experts. Moreover, the health industry is reaching out for help in designing healthcare data security into mobile apps that go beyond simple encryption to meet the potential sophistication of future threats. 

Developers must take note that the app is not leaking any sensitive information which is accessible to other applications on the same device or to an attacker who has physical access to the device. An app stores sensitive data with insecure file permissions or insecure encoding, making it accessible to unauthorized parties. 

The operating systems of mobile devices tend to be very complex, demanding additional security controls for the detection and prevention of attacks against them. The availability of social media and email makes it easy to post as well as share information in violation of HIPAA regulations. 

2.Privacy and security features will make or break your healthcare app

It is important to make sure that the medical application fulfills the regulations of the country’s healthcare and privacy policies and that all the necessary registrations are in place. Any organization dealing with health information needs to have a physical network and top-notch security to ensure compliance and provide proper healthcare data security. This framework has been adopted by other medical institutions around the world as the “go-to” security guidelines to follow. 

Data and device security are important to safeguard both healthcare app adoption as well as functionality. Features such as two-factor authentication(2FA) and end-to-end data encryption services will make sure that data shared over secure connections and channels have no breaches. This mobile phone security will further ensure that not everyone has access to data on people.

Speaking of 2FA, mobile users are asked to confirm their identity by entering a password and then confirming a secondary component, such as their voice identification, fingerprint, retinal scanning, or simply text message in tandem with a verification code. Often, implementing 2FA in the medical app is sufficient enough to confirm that only the authorized person is accessing the data. 

3.Check with HIPAA and ensure compliance

HIPAA is the biggest regulation to review your healthcare applications. It governs how to legitimately share data and also preserve patient privacy. There are different levels of HIPAA compliance that go with different apps. You need to choose your level of HIPAA compliance depending upon the kind of data you choose and share. 

How will you decide the level of HIPAA compliance of your app?

First of all, analyze your app’s footprint. It will dictate the level of difficulty involved in realizing compliance. Suppose, if you are planning to store patient data on the app, there will be some pretty hefty privacy and security regulations you will need to follow.

Similarly, if you intend to have zero footprint applications – which means they access data from a secure server but nothing resides in the apps themselves – then the application will carry lower risk as to the apps and data only exists on devices during practice. 

4. Manage Session Handling 

Improper handling of sessions for a long period even when the user has switched from the application can result in risking the data. Many medical apps tend to enable longer sessions to speed up the process to provide better user experience by optimizing the speed. But exercising this can be unsafe particularly if the phone or the device is stolen. Any individual who gains access to the device can control the application and steal or even worst modify the data.

The best technique to find a middle ground between privacy protection and speed is to use re-authenticate for important actions like purchases or access to priority marked documents. It may be irritating for your users to enter passwords at each and every stage but this also helps in securing the information. This way you will let users have the requisite access without compromising on the mobile app security. 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the caliber of your app will be decided by the usability, need, and user-friendliness of your application. If you want to make your healthcare app useful as well as reliable you should definitely consider the above-given pointers to understand healthcare data security in mobile medical apps and help create a positive aura of the app among customers.

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