There’s a constant tension between technology that provides accessibility and the protective power of HIPAA.The widespread use of smartphones and the advance of cloud technology mean that consumers can access a wealth of information from anywhere, and at any time. When it comes to the financial or healthcare industries, that access bumps up against federal regulations that prioritize the protection of information. In healthcare, the promise of advanced accessibility to records and providers may be limited by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

HIPAA was designed with the future in mind, when patients would need access to medical records, with the ability to move them from one provider to another with the help of technology. The regulations have required some adjustment as the expected technological advances have come to fruition.

For healthcare providers, the goal of providing healthcare that utilizes the best technology available while also maintaining HIPAA requirements requires the threading of an almost impossibly small needle. Here are some of the technology trends emerging:

Video diagnoses: Patients unable to venture out to a doctor’s office or those that live in rural areas can benefit from conferring with a doctor through a video conference. This type of technology can also help patients avoid missing unnecessary hours of work often needed to travel to and from a doctor’s appointment.

Wearables: Activity trackers offer insight into how many steps a patient walks in a day, along with critical heart rate readings. This information can help researchers in the medical field identify risk factors for a variety of diagnoses and also help monitor the activity of high-risk patients.

Technology-assisted consultations: Even the most tech-savvy patient may give pause to see a doctor wearing a Google glass during a consultation, but these types of tools can be helpful to both patients and providers. Recording the conversation can help ensure the patient has a record of instructions and both parties have the opportunity to review the conversation for additional information useful for diagnosis and treatment.

Each of these technologies presents security challenges that may compromise the provider’s ability to comply with HIPAA requirements. While the patient may benefit significantly from technology-aided care, the need to use cloud-based software for each of these scenarios can create added security concerns.

Healthcare providers can offer the best care to their patients while adhering to HIPAA standards by choosing cloud providers that support HIPAA regulations.

If you’d like to know more about cloud security that supports HIPAA, contact SimpleWAN. We provide you with the right tools and resources so that you can offer the best care to your patients.