HIPAA-compliant (secure) texting Apps?

Discussion in 'iPhone Apps and Games' started by Rootntootn, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Rootntootn

    Rootntootn Member
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    Hi. I'm a doctor in a rural area and my call group needs to get a secure form of texting for the iPhone or other pocket computerized devices. I looked into TigerText but it's really expensive. They usually want $10 a month per user and that really adds up when you have several members of a call group. Do any of you know of an app that is HIPAA secure compliant besides Tiger?


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  2. ZR_Yancy

    ZR_Yancy Genius
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  3. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    Technically, iMessages is not HIPPA-compliant. To be in compliance, the company has to have a businesss agreement with the mobile providers. iMessages are encrypted over the air when they are sent, but there is no guarantee the carrier isn't reading or archiving the messages. Additionally, anyone could read the texts if they had access to the phone itself, for instance, if it was lost or stolen. There are ways to view this information on a computer even if a passcode lock is used.

    I am not aware of any HIPAA-approved text messaging apps for personal phones that are in compliance by default without the complany having an agreement with them. TigerText claims to be, but the company would still need to have an agreement with them for that be true.

    The key is to avoid using any patient identifiers if you are going to use your personal phone, but removing all patient identifiers defeats the purpose and can lead to obvious problems such as miscommunication and errors.
     
  4. ZR_Yancy

    ZR_Yancy Genius
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    But I didn't think carriers can access iMessages because Apple stores data sent over iMessage and runs the service and encryption in-house.

    Cortext is a free text messaging app that is HIPAA compliant. But it looks like your group has to be accepted. Wouldn't hurt to try.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cortext/id525559191?mt=8
     
  5. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    I think Apple would be considered the carrier in that case.
     
  6. Rootntootn

    Rootntootn Member
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    Thank you all for your help. Such draconian controls under HIPAA! And the punishments are incredible. Hmmm retirement?

    I'll look into cortext. Thanks again!
     
  7. ZR_Yancy

    ZR_Yancy Genius
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    Let us know how it goes.
     
  8. Rootntootn

    Rootntootn Member
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    Hi. The app from Cortext is excellent. Their company is very helpful and works with many medical professionals, apparently. I have already set up my office, the nurses and medical assistants, to be able to secure text with each other and with me. I'm meeting with my call group next week to set up a separate directory so that each one of us can securely text.

    I really appreciate this Icafé forum: I don't know if I would've found this out without questioning you all. And you were very prompt in giving me good advice. Thanks again!


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  9. ZR_Yancy

    ZR_Yancy Genius
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    Glad to read things worked out for you. :)
     
  10. tikka

    tikka New Member

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    I'm using iMessage.Give it a shot,I think it's a worthwhile app to try
     
  11. RoofMonkey

    RoofMonkey Genius
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    iMessage isn't an 'app' & it is far from Hippa compliant
     
  12. Rootntootn

    Rootntootn Member
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    Thanks for replying. We went with Cortext. It's worked well for us so far.


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