July 19, 2021

Are Health Mobile Apps HIPAA Compliant?

If you’re trying to lose weight and use an app on your smartphone to help you, how private is your health data? According to a new study from Macquarie University in Sydney – not very.

mHealth Apps Under Fire

According to Health Day News, Gioacchino Tangari, PhD, from Macquarie University in Sydney, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to examine whether and what user data are collected by mHealth apps and to assess associated risks to privacy.

Of user data transmissions, 23% occurred on insecure communication protocols. Overall, 28.1% of apps provided no privacy policies, while less than half (47%) of user data transmission complied with the privacy policy. Concerns about privacy were raised in 1.3% of user reviews. 

The takeaway? Check for privacy policies on any apps you use and keep your personal health information close to your chest. If you find your smart device has been compromised, or you’re updating to a newer device, be certain to completely destroy your device to protect your sensitive data.

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