Is your wearable HIPAA compliant?

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Blog(Wearables) Technology is advancing faster and faster every day. Physicians and lab techs alike are uncovering new and innovating advances in medicine. Wearable technologies have become an increasing trend in monitoring individual health and lifestyles. They can be used personally and congruently by groups or individuals to determine better health regimes. Unfortunately, not all of these tech savvy wearables are HIPAA compliant. Fitbit became HIPAA compliant in September of 2015, becoming one of the first wearables to achieve the coveted compliance. But what does HIPAA compliance really mean? In a nutshell HIPAA is present to keep personal information private. It ensures that anything which can show direct links to you and your health is not illegally shared, or data-mined for information. With wearables this means no cloud storage or other means of file accumulation that could disregard users’ privacy. While wearables issued by physicians and hospitals are typically covered by HIPAA, many sold in retail stores don’t yet meet their data standards. This means your private information could be compromised. Some wearable companies maintain a database of information collected from wearable users—information that is sometimes health-related. Because they are non-HIPAA covered entities, they are allowed to do this. Wearables offer a large variety of uses. From tracking your steps each day, your hourly blood pressure, nightly sleep-monitoring and more, these convenient devices keep you on top of your personal well-being. Ranging in price and capability, wearables offer a unique insight into improving individual health. Technology such as Moov Now can be worn in water, and synched to a smart phone to better understand body movements during endurance sports. Other options designed for specific tasks can be valuable tools to hone in on personal improvements in a specified area. The Microsoft Band 2 still provides some basic functions, but shines extremely well in showcasing the various speculations and data associated with running. If you’re in the market for your own unique wearable ask your retailer and your physician what the best option is for you. Be sure to prompt the question, “Is this technology HIPAA compliant?”