HIPAA-compliant Google technology was a big topic in the news this week. Healthcare providers and practices are looking into the possibilities of providers consulting with patients over HIPAA-compliant Google Helpout sessions and Google Glass also got attention for being used in a medical procedure. In some ways, the future seems to be arriving when it comes to medical technology.
This week's Clinical Documentation News Roundup looks at Google Helpouts, Google Glass and other HIPAA Google issues.
- Google Helpouts Health Services HIPAA Considerations from HealthITSecurity: “Google has certainly come a long way in regards to HIPAA business associate agreements (BAAs). Despite being previously notorious for being unwilling to sign BAAs with healthcare providers, Google began offering BAAs for Google Apps on September 27. Now the IT giant is mandating that HIPAA covered entities using its recently-released Google Helpouts sign a BAA with Google. Google Helpouts provides consumers the opportunity to discuss a problem face-to-face with a topic expert. One of the areas of expertise is healthcare and from physicians medical experts offering mental health counsel advice, patients can get general medical tips and advice from these professionals. But with this technology comes the question of privacy and security that has been tied to telemedicine for years. Google tries to answer that question by maintaining that ‘Helpouts’ is HIPAA compliant and secure product for healthcare professionals.”
- Mobile Health Lets Doctors Practice Like It's 1950 from Huffington Post: “The mHealth movement has democratized mobile-based secure healthcare communication allowing every electing doctor to work in teams, message, share photos, and exchange files on HIPAA-secure mobile platforms. So today, the local family doctor doesn't have to raise $40 million of venture capital. He or she can leverage a smartphone to practice medicine like my grandfather's physician, and still elect for a weekend with the family at the lake. They can diagnose, treat, educate, and empathize all through the power of a 4-inch screen and a wireless connection, and so while medicine may never return to $3.50 check-ups, it can once again be about the connection that exists between a patient and a doctor. Only this time, it may be 4G.”
- Is Google Glass The Future of Teletrauma? from HealthITConsultant: “It was the story heard ‘round the world; when Dr. Rafael Grossmann became the first surgeon to use Google Glass in the operating room this past June, allowing a group of medical students to virtually view the procedure through his experienced eyes remotely and in real time. It was a monumental moment for medicine, no doubt. But Grossmann, who is a self-proclaimed telehealth pioneer, says that day was only the beginning of what’s possible with the latest gadget. ‘It’s like any other device,’ said Grossmann. ‘User ethics and code-of-conduct rules have to be applied. It will be no different with Glass. Applications that ensure HIPAA compliance have already been developed. Google just needs to release the SDK (software developer kits) so they can be uploaded in Glass. The same thing happened with iPod Touches and smartphones. Within months, the industry “produced” what was needed by the users.’”
- Google Glass Solution for Surgeons Wins DEMO God Award from iMedicalApps: “Pristine EyeSight, a HIPAA compliant Google Glass software solution for surgeons that is capable of delivering first-person video streaming and 2-way audio, recently won a DEMO God Award. The company has managed to raise $350,000 and is attempting to raise another $100,000. Pristine describe the benefits of their solution on their blog: ‘We’ve built and are actively testing a HIPAA compliant, first person, audio and video streaming solution called Pristine EyeSight. We’re streaming from Glass to any authorized device on the hospital’s network. We solve the problem of “Can you come over here and look at this?” This is a profound concept with a diverse set of use cases throughout virtually every avenue of care.’”
- Disaster Prevention: Keeping Healthcare Safe in the Cloud from HealthcareITNews: “This means that while high performance is mandatory for all healthcare clouds, disaster preparedness is even more crucial. Meeting HIPAA compliance standards and FDA regulations are only one aspect of cloud security for healthcare providers. Critical systems must be kept running and available even in the event of a large-scale failure. And given that major brands like Amazon, Microsoft and Google have experienced outages this year, it’s obvious that every organization can benefit from making sure their business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans are up to snuff. The good news: the cloud’s virtualized infrastructure can actually assist you in maintaining uptime and reliability. It’s just a matter of following three steps.”
If you'd like to learn more about HIPAA compliance issues, check out the slides from the webinar we put on earlier this week.
Logan Solutions sells Dragon Medical software and a HIPAA risk assessment product, and uses a combination of clinical practice expertise and technological skill to help physician practices throughout the U.S. implement, customize and improve their clinical documentation systems and HIPAA compliance practices. Contact us to find out how our clinical-practice expertise can help your practice with its clinical documentation and HIPAA compliance software and procedural needs.