Ann Arbor, Michigan-based data hosting company Online Tech finds itself in the center of those two powerful statements as the only independently HIPAA audited hosting provider in the country offering a complete range of hosting options.
The recent proliferation of health apps for mobile devices – referred to as mHealth – has been extraordinary. For instance, MobiHealthNews reports that consumer health apps available via the Apple Store increased from 2,993 in February 2010 to 13,619 in April 2012.
A majority of those apps are focused on fitness or diet, MobiHealthNews editor Brian Dolan told the Washington Post. Online Tech appeals to the inventors of the growing number of more meaningful applications – ones with direct medical use that show promise to reduce healthcare costs and revolutionize healthcare with improved care outcomes and protected patient interests.
Why? Quite simply, security and HIPAA compliance.
Balancing the benefits of outsourcing data center and hosting services with the risks of engaging an off-premise business associate is daunting in the wake of penalties and fines levied by the Department of Health & Human Services and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for breaches of protected health information.
Online Tech’s three Michigan data centers, hosting services and staff meet HIPAA compliance. An independent third-party auditor audited the company against the latest OCR HIPAA Audit Protocol released by the government in June 2012. The protocol includes a criterion that fulfills the HIPAA Security Rule, Privacy Rule and Breach Notification Rule requirements.
The third-party independent audit is a step often avoided by Online Tech’s competitors, but one that Online Tech CEO Yan Ness finds essential for his company’s business model.
“It’s worth it. In today’s world, data is your business,” Ness said. “You can’t operate without it, so we welcome the protections prescribed by the HIPAA Security Rule in order to provide compliant hosting.”
In recent months, Online Tech has announced data hosting partnerships with three mHealth collaborators looking for secure and compliant options:
- HipaaCat is a HIPAA compliant communication system for healthcare providers to exchange data and images between their smartphones. The brainchild of Dr. Gregory Dumanian and developed by Illinois-based I.T. consulting firm SD3, HipaaCat is a complete solution that can transfer data and images to and from multiple mobile application devices (including iPhones, iPads, Android and Android tablets) via a secure central server with data encryption at every stage.
- ForaCare recently contracted with Online Tech for HIPAA compliant managed cloud hosting for its TeleHealth System. This interactive, Internet-based platform allows healthcare providers and patients to communicate via home monitoring devices. Healthcare providers and physicians can track patients' vital signs every day and make recommendations or adjustments quickly. By closely monitoring their patients’ conditions, physicians can delay complications and potentially avoid patient hospitalization.
- iRounds, a physician-owned provider of mobile and web platforms for patient care communication in a secure and HIPAA compliant format, selected Online Tech as its trusted hosting business associate. By using Online Tech’s HIPAA cloud hosting services, iRounds can avoid the burden of purchasing and maintaining HIPAA compliant facilities and servers. It can also add servers very quickly and inexpensively as its business grows.
Online Tech’s mobile healthcare IT experts are headed to Washington D.C. to discuss their independent third-party HIPAA audit and the company’s hosting options at the mHealth Summit, held December 3-5 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
Find them at Booth 1031 on the exhibit floor. The mHealth Summit shares best practices in the implementation, business, finance, policy and technical perspectives of healthcare via mobile devices – which it claims is “spreading more rapidly than any other technology in history.”
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