Blog

HIPAA Compliance Checklist [Download]

by Morgan Brown October 6, 2014

Establishing and maintaining HIPAA compliance for healthcare applications can be a time consuming and frustrating ordeal for developers. From the administrative safeguards that the business needs to implement, to the technical and physical safeguards that require software architecture and custom development, the process can add months to a development timeline and expensive technical debt that requires ongoing attention and refactoring. Unfortunately, using HIPAA-ready hosting like Amazon’s AWS...

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Shellshock Bash Bug and TrueVault

by Jameson Lee September 25, 2014

Yesterday, a critical exploit was announced that affects Linux servers through bash, aka the Bourne Again SHell. The vulnerability involves how Bash processes environmental variables. With specifically crafted variables, intruders could invoke shell commands, making the system vulnerable to even greater assault. TrueVault was notified of the bug via the publication of the issue and patch information on Seclists.org, the leading security mailing list. Upon notification of the threat TrueVault...

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Introducing the TrueVault Partner Program

by Morgan Brown August 26, 2014

Today we’re excited to introduce the TrueVault Developer Partner program. The Developer Partner program is designed to make it easier for application developers and agencies to work with TrueVault to build the next generation of healthcare applications for their clients. If you build mobile and web-based applications for hospitals, doctors or other healthcare providers, or if you’re an agency or development shop who specializes in building for the healthcare vertical, we want you to be a part...

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5 Things CIOs Should Do in Light of the 4.5 Million Community Health Systems Patient Records Theft

by Morgan Brown August 19, 2014

Community Health Systems, which manages 206 hospitals in 29 states, reported this week that they were victims of Chinese hackers who infiltrated and stole more than 4.5 million patient records. The hackers made out with names, addresses and social security numbers for patients across the network during attacks in April and June. While the hackers did not get access to the highly-valued protected health information in patient medical records, the hack represents the second largest...

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What’s Next for Wearable Technology and What it Means for Health Data

by Morgan Brown July 28, 2014

Wearable technology has rapidly moved from fantasy to geeky fad, and is now shaping up to become the next big wave after tablets. Many scoff at Google’s Glass but, judging from this year’s string of product and platform announcements at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and from Apple, Google and Samsung, wearable technology is set to be the next major wave of consumer electronics. Indeed, research firm ABI predicts that by 2017 the market for wearables in the sports and health sectors will grow...

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Introducing the TrueVault Badge

by Morgan Brown July 21, 2014

Today we're excited to announce the launch of the TrueVault Badge Program for applications that use our HIPAA compliant API and data store to keep user data compliant and secure. The TrueVault Badge Program allows any TrueVault customer who has signed a Business Associate Agreement with us to display the badge on their website to show their customers they care deeply about keeping protected health information safe and secure. Why a TrueVault Badge?

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HIPAA Violations are on the Rise (Infographic)

by Morgan Brown July 8, 2014

Over the past year, consumer complaints to the Office of Civil Rights regarding HIPAA violations has skyrocketed. The number of complaints rose nearly 10x between 2013 and 2003. While 2013 was a record year for complaints, 2014 is setting up to easily shatter the previous mark. Complaint volume is up 45.7% year-over-year through the month of May (the most recent month with data available). Enforcement of the new Omnibus Final Rule that was published in January of 2013 and effective as of...

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Should App Developers Get HIPAA Certified?

by Morgan Brown June 17, 2014

If you are a developer and you create apps, software, or other technologies that are connected to healthcare information, you are likely dealing with the question of HIPAA compliance and whether the laws around compliance apply to you and your app. One of the first things that probably come to mind is whether you need to get HIPAA certified. It’s a reasonable question. Especially if you’ve built applications that use sensitive data like payment information, you’re used to the notion of required...

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Introducing the Developers Guide to HIPAA Compliance

by Morgan Brown June 2, 2014

With the news today of Apple’s HealthKit and the Health app, we’re fairly certain that interest in mobile health (mHealth) applications is only going to rise. But building a healthcare-based application has particular challenges that other consumer applications don’t face—mainly the regulation and compliance with HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act. The HIPAA Security Rule lays out the requirements for the privacy of user data, called protected health information (PHI)...

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5 Pitfalls Mobile App Developers Face When it Comes to HIPAA Compliance

by Morgan Brown May 27, 2014

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was signed into law by Bill Clinton on August 21st, 1996. To put this in its technological context, HIPAA predates the first iPhone by 10 years, the first iPad by nearly 14 years, and came into effect just 1 year after commercial ISPs started providing broader access to the consumer Internet. At this point in time, anything close to mobile apps was still beyond the imaginations of even the most outlandish sci fi writers.

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Eight Things We Are Looking for From Apple’s Healthbook and iOS 8

by Morgan Brown May 19, 2014

With the rise of popular wearables like the Nike Fuel band and Jawbone Up, and health-based applications for smartphones, personal health is shaping up to be the next major area of innovation for consumer device makers—smartphone manufacturers included. So it’s no surprise that both Samsung and Apple are planning—or reportedly planning—forays into health with its upcoming devices. Samsung is a mere week away from a major health-based press event, and there’s plenty of speculation around Apple’s...

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What Developers Need to Know about HIPAA Compliance in Wearable Tech

by Morgan Brown May 14, 2014

With dozens of products already on the market and more on the way, it’s clear that wearable tech is only going to grow in popularity with consumers. From Fitbit to Jawbone Up, Nike Fuel Band and more, these devices are tracking more consumer health data than ever. While popular wearables are tracking steps and calories today, it’s likely that they will track things like hydration, heart rate and more in the next few months—especially if rumors about Apple’s Healthbook are true.

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Meet us at HxRefactored

by Morgan Brown May 8, 2014

TrueVault will be at HxRefactored in Brooklyn, New York on May 14-15. Our CEO Jason will be speaking on Wednesday in the HIPAA and Data Security for developers track. His talk, “Decoding HIPAA for Developers” is focused on helping application developers and hardware engineers understand the ins-and-outs of HIPAA compliance for mobile apps, wearable technology and more. If you’re building a new mobile or web app, or software for new wearable devices you’ll want to put this session on your...

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Need a Hand with TrueVault? AirPair Can Help!

by Morgan Brown March 1, 2014

TrueVault is excited to participate in AirPair's premium support program, which allows our customers to work with trusted TrueVault experts on complex API integrations and similar engagements. Airpair gives developers instant access to the world's best software engineering experts via online screensharing and video chat. There are lots of places that let non-engineers hire engineers one-off for low quality projects like oDesk, but Airpair is one of the few and the best that let developers...

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Here's How to Keep Your Mobile Data Secure

by Morgan Brown January 15, 2014

More than 4.4 million phones were stolen or lost in 2013, according to Consumer Reports. With 70.4% of missing phones the result of theft, there is a lot of personal data floating around in the wrong hands. So how can you keep your phone data safe? Follow these nine tips to keep your personal data safe and secure, even if your phone is stolen. Keeping Mobile Data Safe Set a lock screen password.

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What is the penalty for a HIPAA violation?

by Morgan Brown January 9, 2014

HIPAA violations are expensive. The penalties for noncompliance are based on the level of negligence and can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation (or per record), with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per year for violations of an identical provision. Violations can also carry criminal charges that can result in jail time. Fines will increase with the number of patients and the amount of neglect. Starting with a breach where you didn’t know and, by exercising reasonable diligence, would...

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HIPAA Compliant File Storage for Healthcare

by Jason Wang January 8, 2014

TrueVault can offer you HIPAA compliant storage for any file format. This is not just a file backup or cloud storage solution. Our BLOB Store was designed from the ground up to integrate with mobile applications, web apps, and wearable devices. File uploads, downloads, updates, and deletes are all accessible via a REST(ful) API. When TrueVault launched in September of 2013 we released HIPAA compliant storage for JSON Documents. In December 2013 we launched our BLOB Store.

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Who Certifies HIPAA Compliance?

by Jason Wang January 4, 2014

The short answer is no one. Unlike PCI, there is no one that can “certify” that an organization is HIPAA compliant. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the federal governing body here. And, HHS does not endorse or recognize the “certifications” made by private organizations. There is an evaluation standard in the Security Rule § 164.308(a)(8), and it requires you to perform a periodic technical and non-technical evaluation to make sure...

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How do I become HIPAA compliant? (a checklist)

by Jason Wang October 30, 2013

A little housekeeping before we answer the question. This article is not a definitive list of what is required for HIPAA compliance; you should assign a Privacy Officer to review each rule in its entirety. This article is intended to point you in the right direction. So you have determined that you are handling protected health information (PHI) and that you need to be HIPAA compliant. What’s next? What steps need to be taken in order to become HIPAA compliant?

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HIPAA Physical Safeguards Explained, Part 2

by Jason Wang October 27, 2013

In a previous blog post titled, HIPAA Physical Safeguards Explained, Part 1, we covered the basics of the HIPAA Physical Safeguards and the first of four standards of the HIPAA Security Rule. In this post, we’ll cover the remaining three standards: Workstation Use, Workstation Security and Device and Media Controls. If you skipped part 1 of the series, you should read that first. Otherwise, Let’s dive right in. The Workstation Use standard states your entity must define what each workstation...

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Do I Need To Be HIPAA Compliant?

by Jason Wang October 13, 2013

If you handle what’s called protected health information (PHI), then this is an important question to be asking because HIPAA violations can result in some serious penalties. What is PHI you ask? Good question. PHIis any information in a medical record that can be used to identify an individual, and that was created, used, or disclosed in the course of providing a health care service, such as a diagnosis or treatment.

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HIPAA Physical Safeguards Explained, Part 1

by Jason Wang October 10, 2013

Update 10/27/2013: You can read part 2 of this series here Physical Safeguards are a set of rules and guidelines outlined in the HIPAA Security Rule that focus on the physical access to Protected Health Information (PHI). In contrast, Administrative Safeguards focus on policy and procedures, while Technical Safeguards focus on data protection. When we think about PHI, we typically think about the digital form of PHI: database records, PDF patient files, and MRI scan images.

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