mHealth : where’s the (HIPAA) line?

Great discussion this morning with Doug Naegele ( @textandshout ) from Infield Communications (also based in the #epicenter) and the @clinovations team about HIPAA in the era of mHealth. He drew a diagram, which I approximated above.

It describes things that are currently not thought of as HIPAA protected, like patient status updates tracking of wellness, etc, on the left, and things that have HIPAA “meaning” attached to them, like EHR and PHR data. In the middle are connected devices, like certain mobile apps that are FDA certified.

Question is, is this where patients want the line to be? Moving the line to the left or the right changes the amount of personalization a health care provider can provide in messaging to people’s cell phones. If the line is where it is, then there may be limitations on what health care providers can do in communicating with patients via their mobile phones.


Ted Eytan, MD