Consumers rarely are aware of privacy and confidentiality regulations except when interfacing with a hospital registration, or a medical office environment. HIPAA applies to a wide variety of industries, insurers, insurance companies, medical device manufacturrers, home health services, and HIT such as EHR, HIX, and growing influence of home remote monitoring, and mobile health apps already on the market at the Google Chrome Store, Apple's iTunes site, and Window's Store.
Apple announced it is tightening privacy rules for HealthKit, it's new mobile health developer's site. Apple appears to be the first company to satisfy HIPAA and gives it an advantage in the market place for serious adoption of mHealth for both remote monitoring and consumer oriented fitness monitoring apps that have become ubiquitous. The latest update to apple's iOS developer program licene agreement, Apple said developers must "not sell and end-user's health information collected throught the HealthKit API to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers".
The privacy clampdown comes as Apple seeks to differentiate itself against rival Google, which relies on targeted ads for much of its income.
Apple, known for it's domination by games and chat apps discussed 'medical applications' with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during January 2014.
Predictions that mobile health medical apps would experience more popularity among consumers in 2014. In June 2014 Flurry, a mobile analytics firm recently acquied by Yahoo reported a 62 percent increase in usage of health apps, outpacing the wider market's growth. Many of those apps, especially if free to download rely ofn a dvertising for their income.
This announcement coincides with the release of Apple's new iOS8
HealthKit allows apps that provide health and fitness services to share their data with the new Health app and with each other. A user’s health information is stored in a centralized and secure location and the user decides which data should be shared with your app.