Although there is a clear advantage to the data gathering potential of mobile health-related applications, the risks involved in processing sensitive data electronically have not gone ignored by the government as evidenced by recent comments made by Julie Brill, commissioner of the FTC. Her reaction may also pertain to the potential for HIPAA violations in application use.
Recently, Brill appeared at an event dedicated to promoting the need for government policies to parallel technological growth. Brill joined other professionals included on a panel, such as Morgan Reed, executive director of the App Association, and Allison Remsen of Mobile Future, all of whom can be seen in this video posted by The Hill.
During the discussion, Brill acknowledged the way that policy seems to be always trying to catch up with the pace of technology. But she also focused on the responsibility that must be taken in safeguarding consumer rights and safety, while striking a balance that pleases app makers and concerned patients and users.
Because the FTC has the ability to investigate and do research into this, Brill argues, she especially can use her role to make sure consumers are informed.
"I think that we need to be thinking about immersive apps, we need to be thinking about auditory signals," Brill said. "All sorts of signals that will tell the consumer what is happening. And we're going to have to be creative about it, because these are devices that don't have the user interface."
Medical practices that research HIPAA compliance consulting they might need in these situations can feel a little more prepared to stick close to policy as it tries to respond to changing needs and standards. It seems that being able to respond to initiatives and apply consistent changes will be important for success.