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Designing security programs Risk management HIPAA

Strike Graph solves the unique HIPAA challenges of HealthTech

HealthTech companies face specific challenges when it comes to HIPAA compliance — handling increases in transmission of health data over the internet, ensuring the security of data collected by wearable health devices, the proliferation of The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), and more.

So what are HealthTech companies to do?

Strike Graph is the best solution to solve your unique HIPAA challenges. In this post, we’ll dig deeper into the evolving HealthTech landscape, why HIPAA is so essential to it, its unique security challenges, and how Strike Graph can help.

The evolving landscape of HealthTech security and privacy

The evolving landscape of security and privacy in the HealthTech industry is driven by technological advancements, regulatory changes, and the growing volume of sensitive health data. It can be a tricky landscape to traverse given the demand for data-driven healthcare vs. the need for privacy, the evolution of the internet of medical things (IoMT), and more.

As technology continues to advance in the HealthTech industry, ensuring security and privacy of health data is becoming not only increasingly complex, but increasingly vital. Balancing innovation with regulatory compliance and ethical considerations is key to maintaining trust and integrity for HealthTech companies.

And when it comes to regulatory compliance, HIPAA compliance is crucial in this sector. That’s because it’s essential for ensuring the privacy and security of health information, maintaining trust with patients, avoiding legal and financial penalties, and promoting innovation within a framework of standardized and ethical data handling practices.

Thankfully, Strike Graph is a tailored solution that can help HealthTech companies — both covered entities and business associates —  successfully navigate the changing security and privacy environments of the HealthTech industry.

Understanding HIPAA and its importance for HealthTech

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a federal law that was enacted in 1996. It provides standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's consent or knowledge, establishing policies and procedures for maintaining the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information.

Essentially, HIPAA sets standards for protecting the confidentiality and privacy of protected health information (PHI), including ePHI, and restricting how it can be used and disclosed. It also includes provisions for safeguarding the security of electronic health records (EHRs), requiring physical, administrative, and technical safeguards.

These standards apply to companies and other entities that transmit health information like PHI, ePHI, and EHRs. These include covered entities (e.g. health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers) and business associates (e.g. individuals or entities that perform functions or activities on behalf of or provide certain services to a covered entity).

Non-compliance with HIPAA can lead to a range of serious consequences, both legal and reputational. Financial penalties can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation or per record and vary based on the nature of the violation and whether it was due to willful neglect or not. There’s a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per year for violations of an identical provision. When it comes to reputational backlash, non-compliant organizations can lose customer, partner, and stakeholder trust — leading to a loss of business and negative media attention.

Unique security challenges in HealthTech

HealthTech challenges are different from those of more traditional healthcare companies in a number of ways:

Telemedicine

The rapid growth of telemedicine, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to an increase in the transmission of health data over the internet. This requires HealthTech companies to implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect patient information during online consultations.

Wearable health devices

The popularity of wearable health devices that collect personal health data — like fitness trackers and smartwatches — has raised new privacy concerns. Ensuring the security of data collected by these devices can be a significant challenge for HealthTech companies.

Mobile health applications

The proliferation of mobile health apps has raised questions about the security of health data on personal devices and the need for regulatory oversight of these apps.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

AI and ML are increasingly used in HealthTech for diagnostics, treatment recommendations, and patient care management. While they offer tremendous benefits, they also pose risks in terms of data privacy and the potential for bias in algorithmic decision-making.

The internet of medical things (IoMT)

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications, and health systems and services. While it has the potential to significantly improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes, it also introduces a variety of security issues for HealthTech companies. A multi-layered security approach is needed, involving robust cybersecurity measures, regulatory compliance, and ongoing risk management.

How Strike Graph addresses HealthTech security needs

Strike Graph’s all-in-one platform is uniquely suited to answering the challenges HealthTech faces now and instantly adapting to new ones as they appear. Let’s take a closer look at why.

Risk assessment

Strike Graph’s in-platform risk assessment helps you strategically safeguard your business against real HealthTech risks. After identifying your organization’s specific risks and vulnerabilities — for example, the security of data collected by your company’s wearable health device — you’ll be able to assign it a risk rating, add an owner, and link controls and evidence. You’ll also be able to continuously update that risk as your company grows, technology evolves, and the HealthTech landscape changes in order to make sure your organization and any PHI is always secure.

Multi-framework mapping

Strike Graph’s multi-framework mapping capabilities can help your HealthTech company meet the complex regulatory requirements you face by allowing you to map the controls you've already implemented to satisfy the requirements of one framework — like GDPR, for instance — to another framework, like HIPAA. You can also easily add evidence and update controls across all of your frameworks with one action. This functionality not only means less time and effort spent by your team, but more adaptability when unexpected new security requirements pop up in the ever-evolving HealthTech landscape. 

Case Study: Real-world Impact

Our client DocuPhase is a great example of a real-world scenario in which Strike Graph’s multi-framework mapping feature helped a tech company reach HIPAA compliance twice as fast as other, more traditional methods. That’s because Strike Graph’s multi-framework mapping capabilities meant 50% of the controls and evidence necessary for HIPAA were already satisfied in the platform.

Extensive resource library

Strike Graph's extensive resource library and in-platform tips mean anyone on your team can better understand and meet compliance needs when and where they need to​​​​. Need to easily onboard a new team member to the platform? Done. Need to learn how to activate, implement, and maintain controls in order to mitigate HealthTech-specific risks? We got you covered. How about learning more about trust assets like certifications and security reports? We can help with that, too.

AI and automation

In-platform AI and automation like our AI security assistant and automated evidence collection keep your team informed and make your process quicker and easier.

A team of compliance experts

The cherry on top? You’ll have a team of experienced security compliance experts available to assist whenever you need any additional support. We’re always here to help and answer any HIPAA or HealthTech-related security questions you might have.

It’s time to get on the HIPAA train

Given the evolving nature of the HealthTech landscape, we understand that staying on top of changing patient privacy and other data security requirements can be difficult. Strike Graph’s suite of tools and all-in-on compliance platform makes compliance easy for HealthTech companies.

Ready to learn more about how Strike Graph's compliance and certification platform simplifies HIPAA compliance? Schedule a demo and one of our HIPAA experts will show you just how significant an impact Strike Graph can have for HealthTech companies.

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