October 23, 2023

How HIPAA & PIPEDA Shape the Digital Transformation of Healthcare Companies

In this article, we discuss the key regulatory acts in healthcare that govern the protection of personal data across digital products, including mobile, desktop, and web applications.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) are the primary regulatory acts in healthcare designed to protect personal data in digital products within the US and Canada.

It is HIPAA and PIPEDA that dictate the features of software development for dental clinics, regardless of their specialization. We discuss the use of such acts and other legal documents in the creation of digital products for our clients in our Case Studies section.

Both acts are designed to protect data confidentiality – that's their primary similarity. However, the main features and application areas of these legal documents differ. Hence, when developing medical software for both the US and Canada, it's essential to comply with both HIPAA and PIPEDA.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The primary goal of this act is to protect patients' personal information. The document is used to regulate medical institutions, insurance companies, and other organizations processing medical data within the US.

HIPAA isn't limited to regulating just software. But during the digital transformation of the healthcare sector, this document was supplemented with crucial security rules that oversee the electronic storage and transmission of medical data.

PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). This act governs the protection of personal data in electronic form across a wide range of industries in Canada, not limited to healthcare. It applies to all organizations that process personal data as part of their commercial activities.

PIPEDA was created with the digital transformation of business in the country in mind. The main objective of this act is to ensure a genuinely important balance between a person's right to privacy and the inevitable need for organizations to process personal data.

Key Differences Between HIPAA and PIPEDA:

  • Geography: HIPAA is applicable in the US, while PIPEDA is for Canada. Therefore, when developing any universal digital products for companies operating in North America, it's essential to consider the specifics of both these acts, not just one of them.
  • Scope: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act specifically focuses on medical data collected by companies, whereas the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act encompasses any personal information.
  • Structure and Detail: HIPAA contains stricter and more specific requirements for medical organizations. At the same time, PIPEDA provides more general principles, delegating the creation of a specific infrastructure for data interaction to the software development company.

The active digital transformation of companies in the healthcare industry presents new demands for personal data protection. When it comes to creating digital products for businesses in the US and Canada, it's crucial for the developer company to be aware of and implement the principles set forth in both HIPAA and PIPEDA.

Trust us to build software that's not just cutting-edge but also HIPAA and PIPEDA approved


Nick Griс



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