HIPAA eCommerce

HIPAA-Compliant App Development for Mobile Devices

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Key Takeaways
  • HIPAA-compliant app development for healthcare providers involves creating mobile applications that meet the requirements outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • These apps are designed to securely collect, store, and transmit protected health information (PHI) while ensuring patient privacy and confidentiality.
  • Developers must adhere to HIPAA regulations, such as implementing strong security measures, obtaining patient consent, and maintaining accurate records of PHI disclosures.
  • Care providers can benefit from HIPAA-compliant apps such as telemedicine, electronic health records (EHRs), medication management, and HIPAA-compliant patient portal apps.
  • HIPAA compliance is essential to protect patient privacy, avoid legal consequences, and maintain trust in care providers.

HIPAA-Compliant App Development: An Overview

HIPAA compliance issues affect medical practices, insurance companies, and eCommerce companies that offer medical devices, fitness, equipment, and telemedicine app development. HIPAA, an acronym that stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, was passed in 1996 and took effect in 2003. The act mandates privacy protection for protected health information (PHI) and other sensitive data, including digital electronic health records or electronic medical records (EHR/EMR).

If you need to make your app HIPAA compliant, you need to keep reading to find out how it can protect patient medical data.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Apps

EHR apps can be accessed from computers, tablets, and mobile devices, allowing healthcare providers to access patient records from any location with an internet connection. This enables providers to access medical data and make informed decisions about patient care, even when they are not physically in the same location as the patient.

HIPAA-compliant telemedicine software apps can contain a wide range of health data including medical history, diagnoses, medications, allergies, immunization records, and lab results. They can also include patient demographics, insurance information, and other administrative data.

EHR apps can also be used for a variety of clinical tasks, such as ordering tests and medications, recording patient progress notes, and managing care plans. They can also be used for administrative tasks, such as billing, scheduling, and reporting.

Medication Management Apps

Medication management apps are software applications that help patients manage their medication schedules, dosage, and refills. These apps are designed to ensure that patients take their medications as prescribed by their care providers, reducing the risk of missed doses, overdose, or medication errors.

This can be a tablet or HIPAA-compliant phone app, allowing patients to access their health data from anywhere. These apps can include features such as medication reminders, refill reminders, dosage tracking, and drug interaction checking.

Medication Management Apps can also provide patients with information about their medications, including side effects, potential drug interactions, and instructions for use. This can help patients better understand their medications and improve their adherence to treatment plans.

HIPAA Compliant Mobile App Development for eCommerce

Healthcare mobile app development is critical for eCommerce companies, and consumers have embraced apps in a big way for their internet-connected devices. Mobile apps sell in locations like Apple's App Store, Blackberry App World, and Google Play. In particular, eCommerce companies get strong cost-value results by developing proprietary apps for their customers because these applications make it easier to order on mobile devices and provide shortcuts for many online activities.

Fitness and health apps, which are usually subject to HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, must have an accompanying HIPAA-compliant website. Downloads of fitness apps have increased 87 percent faster than market averages according to TechCrunch.

Wearable Applications Gain Traction

The latest generation of wearable applications monitors physical activity, health conditions, and fitness metrics such as calories burned, steps taken, and distance covered. Consumers are embracing wearable apps that are built into clothes and accessories. The apps track, record, and store key metrics like blood pressure, pulse rates, glucose levels, and other proprietary and confidential patient data that fall under HIPAA standards and regulations.

These products and their related apps provide a bonanza for eCommerce companies, but these apps could potentially expose health data if HIPAA security best practices aren't followed. Private medical practices, insurance companies, medical device providers, and fitness apps must comply with HIPAA law or face fines, penalties, data breaches, lawsuits, and damaged customer relations. They need the best HIPAA-compliant CRM software available from a trusted medical app developer.

clarity mobile app designed for medical client in Utah
WooCommerce and HIPAA icon.

Making an App HIPAA-Compliant Isn't Easy

Ensuring you achieve mobile app HIPAA compliance is doable, but it's vital that you find medical app developers with extensive experience. Clarity has created many secure, flexible, and robust HIPAA-compliant mobile apps, and we're ready to help you.

Contact Us For A Demo

Mobile App HIPAA Compliance Standards

Fitness apps such as Google Fit and Apple Health underscore how important it is to understand the law when developing apps. Not all healthcare apps require mobile app HIPAA compliance, but if an application collects, stores, transmits, or shares health information, then it must follow HIPAA best practices.

  • If an app sends or shares health information among doctors, medical staff workers, hospitals, clinics, or insurance companies, it must meet HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
  • If an app shares health data with a covered entity (CE) or business associate, it must be HIPAA compliant.
  • Apps that provide generic information about health, various illnesses, nutrition, and similar matters don't necessarily need to comply with HIPAA, but they might if customers can use the apps to store personal health information.
  • Medical app developers can protect apps from breaches by implementing strong, mandatory passwords and installing remote disabling programs to clear information from lost or stolen mobile devices.
  • Healthcare app developers whose apps are subject to HIPAA rules need to create plans for monitoring information, recording usage history, investigating breaches, and taking steps to prevent future breaches.
  • If a breach in data occurs, the developer needs to inform any customers whose health data was compromised.
  • Encryption and decryption programs should be incorporated into apps and the corresponding HIPAA-compliant website design.

Proactive HIPAA Compliant App Development

Programmers for eCommerce apps need to think outside the app and anticipate how customers might use apps in different ways than expected. Anonymous data ceases to be anonymous if customers use their apps and devices to store medical details like disease symptoms, personal health benchmarks, and other PHI like mental health indications and symptoms of mental disorders.

If a device is capable of storing patient data—even if it wasn't intended to be used that way—it falls under HIPAA rules. Examples of unexpected app use that is subject to EHR/EMR HIPAA compliance include:

  • Storing information about medical appointments and care providers
  • Diaries of appointments that include specific dates of service that could be used to identify patients
  • Sharing symptoms or recovery times with other covered entities, individuals, or business associates
  • Sending emails from an app might breach privacy because emails aren't encrypted
  • Anticipating how to communicate with users when they're using an app because unprotected communications could expose information to data breaches
  • Using third-party services, such as TrueVault and others, to enable communications between a covered entity's HIPAA-compliant database software and the customer app's database.
  • Considering how push notifications could expose confidential information to unprotected exposure on devices that are used in public settings
  • Researching FDA regulations to determine whether any given app could be considered a medical device under HIPAA rules
  • Understanding that passive devices that record activities like REM sleep, sleep habits, muscle use, and respiration rates could be subject to EHR HIPAA protection

Developers should consult attorneys before starting medical app development, as well as agencies like the Department of Human Services, as part of their due diligence when building health-related apps. Regulatory complexity is rewriting the rules almost daily, so it's important to anticipate unexpected app uses and make apps that comply with HIPAA before launching  eCommerce initiatives. The fines for HIPAA noncompliance are steep and could easily neutralize any expected profits or benefits of customers using non-compliant apps. Err on the side of caution by developing apps that are HIPAA compliant.

If a database contains any kind of protected health information, then it, as well as associated HIPAA-compliant websites, must be encrypted. Apps that share information must share decryption information to enable searches. Developers should also vigorously recommend that their customers use passcodes for their devices and apps. Although it's impossible to force customer compliance with passcode best practices, developers can build roadblocks and incentives in their apps to encourage compliance.

Clarity designed medical portal for Coflex

HIPAA-Compliant Design Issues Challenge eCommerce Platforms

HIPAA-compliant mobile apps generate the kind of marketing and promotional benefits that take center stage in eCommerce. These consumer apps are increasingly important because they provide strong value to customers while promoting greater loyalty and ordering convenience.

However, eCommerce websites, sales portals, and business operations accomplish tremendous things in background operations that don't get as much attention as apps. Customers expect complementary and consistent websites and web pages because they routinely entrust their medical and billing information to these digital sites. If the design of a website or app isn't appealing, customers won't use either resource. 

That's why front-end design issues are critical. Other important business issues include having easy-to-navigate web architecture, a searchable catalog, multiple shipping options, and automatic calculations of sales taxes, value-added taxes, and import duties. Security issues—especially for wholesale customers who might themselves be covered entities or business associates by HIPAA rules—are of paramount importance. All these issues depend on each company's eCommerce platform, and integrations are just one aspect of the demands that are placed on eCommerce software.

Using Cloud Services for HIPAA-Compliant Mobile Apps

Yes, cloud services can be used for HIPAA telemedicine mobile apps, but it requires careful planning and implementation to ensure compliance with HIPAA.

To achieve HIPAA compliance for a mobile app that uses cloud services, developers need to ensure that the cloud provider has the necessary security and privacy controls in place. This includes measures such as data encryption, access controls, audit logs, and disaster recovery procedures.

Developers also need to consider the security of the mobile app itself, including measures such as data encryption, secure data storage, and secure authentication and authorization protocols.

Developers must also ensure that they have appropriate agreements in place with the cloud provider that comply with HIPAA law. These agreements must address issues such as data privacy, data security, and data breach notification.

How Clarity Can Help

While there's no such thing as HIPAA certification, Clarity can provide technical assistance, encryption/decryption resources, management tools, and secure access procedures for websites, HIPAA-compliant apps, doctor portals, and patient eCommerce ERP portals.

HIPAA regulations are among the most complex and extensive rules that any eCommerce company faces, and we can simplify compliance by providing secure integrations that fulfill the technical, physical, and administrative security rules where HIPAA and telemedicine collide.

We can also guide you on customized eCommerce solutions for your business and customer satisfaction needs. Our team of engineers can help you code your apps in C#, ASP.NET, HTML5, CSS, Ruby, and other programming languages. Call or contact Clarity today for a consultation about HIPAA compliance or a free price quote.

WooCommerce and HIPAA icon.

Work with Experienced Healthcare App Developers

Navigating the complexities of HIPAA isn't easy. Clarity can provide you with a plan to make sure your customers experience a true HIPAA-compliant mobile app. We can tackle your biggest compliance problems.

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HIPAA is a federal law that regulates the use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI) by covered entities, such as care providers and health plans. HIPAA compliance is important for healthcare app development because it ensures that any PHI collected, stored, or transmitted by the app is handled in a secure and confidential manner.

Failure to comply with HIPAA law can result in significant fines and penalties, legal action, and damage to an organization's reputation. By prioritizing HIPAA compliance, healthcare app developers can protect patient privacy and maintain trust in the healthcare system.


While using a pre-built HIPAA-compliant app template may save time and resources, it is important to ensure that the template is fully customizable and meets all of your specific needs and requirements. You should also thoroughly review the template's security and privacy features to ensure that they are adequate for your use case.

You must also ensure that any modifications made to the template do not compromise making your app HIPAA compliant. It is recommended to work with a development team that has experience in building HIPAA-compliant apps to ensure that the template is properly customized and tested for compliance. By taking these precautions, you can save time and resources while still ensuring HIPAA compliance.


There are several types of healthcare apps that are HIPAA-compliant, including telemedicine apps, electronic health record (EHR) apps, medication management apps, and patient portal apps. Telemedicine apps allow healthcare providers to conduct virtual consultations with patients, while EHR apps enable providers to access and update patient health information electronically.

Medication management apps help patients track their medications and schedule reminders, while patient portal apps provide a secure platform for patients to access their health information and communicate with their care providers. It is important to note that not all healthcare apps are HIPAA-compliant, and you should carefully review the security and privacy features of any app before using it to handle protected health information (PHI).


In general, apps that handle protected health information (PHI) are required to be HIPAA compliant. This means that they must follow the regulations outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to ensure the privacy and security of patient information. Care providers, health plans, and other covered entities must ensure that any third-party apps they use to handle PHI are HIPAA compliant.

Non-compliance with HIPAA law can result in significant fines and penalties, as well as legal action by patients or regulatory agencies. Therefore, it is important for healthcare app developers to prioritize HIPAA compliance to protect patients' privacy and avoid legal consequences.


Some key HIPAA requirements for healthcare apps include implementing strong security measures to protect the information, obtaining patient consent for data collection and use, ensuring that PHI is only accessible by authorized users, and maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of PHI disclosures.

Developers must also ensure that the app meets all relevant HIPAA regulations, such as the Privacy Rule, Security Rule, and Breach Notification Rule. This includes conducting regular risk assessments and implementing appropriate safeguards to address identified vulnerabilities. By prioritizing HIPAA compliance, healthcare app developers can ensure the security and privacy of patient data and avoid legal consequences.


To make your healthcare app HIPAA-compliant, you should work with a development team that has experience in building HIPAA-compliant apps and follows best practices for data security and privacy.

You should also conduct a risk assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities in your app and implement appropriate safeguards to address them. You should obtain patient consent for data collection and use, maintain accurate records of PHI disclosures, and ensure that any third-party services meet HIPAA's security and privacy requirements. By prioritizing HIPAA compliance throughout the development process, you can create a secure and trustworthy healthcare app that protects patient privacy and meets all relevant regulations.


Yes, you can use a cloud hosting service like AWS or Azure for your HIPAA-compliant app, but you must ensure that the service provider signs a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with you and meets HIPAA's security and privacy requirements for handling protected health information (PHI). This includes implementing appropriate security measures, such as encryption and access controls, and ensuring that PHI is only accessible by authorized users.

It is important to conduct thorough due diligence and regularly monitor the service provider's compliance to ensure that your app remains HIPAA-compliant. By using a HIPAA-compliant cloud hosting service, you can take advantage of the scalability and cost-efficiency of cloud computing while protecting patient privacy.


Non-compliance with HIPAA regulations can have serious consequences for healthcare providers and developers. Violations of HIPAA can result in significant fines and penalties, ranging from $100 to $50,000 per violation, with a maximum of $1.5 million per year for each violation type.

Additionally, non-compliance can lead to legal action by patients or regulatory agencies, as well as damage to an organization's reputation. In some cases, non-compliance can even result in criminal charges and imprisonment. Therefore, it is essential for care providers and developers to prioritize HIPAA compliance to protect patient privacy and avoid legal consequences.

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Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.