Tips & Hacks5 Security Hacks To Ensure Your Telemedicine Apps Are Safe To Use

5 Security Hacks To Ensure Your Telemedicine Apps Are Safe To Use

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Are your Telemedicine apps secured? Read on to find out.

In the wake of the pandemic lockdown, a sudden surge is seen in the usage of Telemedicine apps. The availability of the easier healthcare option where, irrespective of the distance, a patient can get himself treated virtually through an app using video call and other advanced tech features has acted as a blessing for the citizens of many countries who are locked in their homes due to “stay at home” orders by the government.

As the numbers in the reports state, the usage of these apps has doubled among Americans, while Canadians are also accepting them with their hands wide open. The predictions are made on the Telemedicine market to elevate its consumption to reach $130.5 billion by 2025.

But as we all know, the more the usage of the app, the more the chances of a data breach and cybersecurity threats. So as the competition for the best Telemedicine app increases in the market, ensuring a precise check on its security measures needs to be a center point for an app to survive in the market.

In order to assure yourself that your Telemedicine apps are safe for your customers, below are some factors that need attention in terms of safety, followed by some security measures for Telemedicine apps.

Key Areas In Telemedicine Apps That Need Security

Key Areas In Telemedicine Apps That Need Security

  • Audio or video call information: Telemedicine uses video and audio call facilities where the patient shares his concerns. Verification of whether there is no glitch in the connection where a third party could listen to the conversation during the call or once the call gets over is indeed needed.
  • Process of data transfer: Medical reports, chats, and patients' personal information are being exchanged between the Telehealth workers while giving the treatment. Ensuring this data is transferred through a secured network under solid encryption is a crucial aspect to be taken care of in a Telemedicine app. Not to mention forensics can also be implemented.
  • App Database: The next on the list is the Telemedicine database, where a vast amount of patient health records are stored. This data should be stored in a secure structured format and not in a way that reveals the patient's identity and must only be accessible by authorized admins.
  • Payment gateways: As Telemedicine apps treat patients online, the payments to the doctors are also transferred using different payment methods. Securing your app payment gateways by double-layer verification or biometric authentication is essential for your user's safe money transfer.

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Moving further, let's look into some must-have security checks for a Telemedicine app.

Security Measures To Keep In Mind While Developing A Telehealth App

1. Ensure endpoint security

Telemedicine apps can be installed and used on different devices like laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. During the online diagnosis process through video calls and chat messages, each of these devices is connected to different networks, leaving a chance of data breaching through any of the endpoint devices.

Controlling the amount of data that is being accessed from a device thus becomes essential. Introducing and implementing an advanced EDR system in your app development process helps to detect any malicious activities on the devices connected at the endpoints by employing 24/7 monitoring on the nodes. These advanced EDRs are capable of ensuring security in remotely connected devices by enabling immediate action towards preventing any malware from entering and spreading in the system.

Security Measures To Keep In Mind While Developing A Telehealth App

2. HIPAA/PIPEDA Compliance

HIPAA/PIPEDA Compliance is the mandatory and the most basic security check for a Healthcare application to become eligible for public use.

With this compliance ensuring the proper use of personal health information of the users, matching the standards defined by the industry experts becomes a must.

Some of these must-know rules of HIPAA compliance are:

  • Data security: Only authorized and registered users can access the ePHI; proper security terms have to be defined to safeguard unauthorized parties.
  • Strict ePHI communication monitoring devices: In order to avoid any data breaching, HIIPHA asks the app owner to implement such mechanisms to monitor the ePHI communication to prevent an accidental malicious attack.
  • Secure channel for communication: The use¬†of Skype, SMS, and emails is highly prohibited from being used as a medium for Telehealth checkups. In order to maintain the integrity of ePHI, implementing a secure communication system becomes essential.

Policies, security terms, and procedures like these are the benchmark for a full-fledged app to ensure a safe launch in the market.

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3. Opt for App insurance for Cybersecurity

As we take an insurance policy for our lives and business, why not for our app security? Well, with options like Cybersecurity insurance for applications that come along with business insurance, there is full money coverage for any mishaps with the digital services.

Opting for the right cybersecurity policy can help stop any possible data breaching attack by providing protective software and also includes employee training and other IT support.

This policy includes the costs of legal security work, forensics, public relations as well as data monitoring costs of the application. Such insurance is a significant step to ensure safety in terms of the app as well as money in times of any cyber attack.

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4. Data Encryption and Network Access Control

As there is a considerable amount of patients' sensitive data being transferred through Telemedicine apps, confirming the safety during data transfer and data storage thus acts as an essential aspect.

Use of the technology platforms that use high data encryption models that prevent the unauthorized user from even having an accidental look at your data or an intelligent hacker to getting access to your transferring communication to tweak it. Data transfer through email, Skype, or Facetime is not advisable for use in Telehealth apps.

Well, talking about data transfer, using a virtual private network (VPN) is said to be the most protected communication channel to transfer any sensitive data as here, the data is well encrypted and transmitted through a secured and appropriate channel. VPNs mitigate the chances of any potential system vulnerabilities.

Apart from that, NACs are also a great security form that works on micro-segmentation techniques and tracks and monitors devices and their access limit.

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5. Self-hosting your telemedicine app

Self-hosting your telemedicine app

Your app is said to be 100% safe if it doesn't have any dependency on a third party. Relying on the other systems needs delegation of your app data, which could one or the other way, be the reason for the glitches in data security.

Hosting your app on your server or storing your data on your purchased cloud space is the easiest way to ensure safety, as you are the only one authorized to access the data.

Allowing your users to access telemedicine apps through Google or Facebook increases the external risk of security and privacy hindrances. Moreover, by opting for a white-label solution, you will get your app ready with your branding and suitable customization.

Security Hacks To Ensure Your Telemedicine Apps Are Safe To Use: Frequently Asked Questions

How secure are telemedicine apps?

Security varies by app. Look for features like:

  • HIPAA compliance:¬†Ensures data privacy and security according to regulations.
  • Encryption:¬†Protects data in transit and at rest (AES-256 or higher).
  • Multi-factor authentication:¬†Adds an extra layer of login security.
  • Regular security audits:¬†Demonstrates commitment to ongoing security improvements.

What information do telemedicine apps collect?

What information do telemedicine apps collect?

Apps may collect personal and health data like name, address, medical history, and diagnoses. Review the app's privacy policy to understand what data is collected and how it's used.

How can I protect my data when using telemedicine apps?

  • Use strong, unique passwords and enable multi-factor authentication.
  • Only download apps from official app stores.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi for telemedicine consultations.
  • Keep your app and device software updated.
  • Be cautious about sharing too much personal information.

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What are some red flags to watch out for?

  • Apps lacking clear privacy policies or security information.
  • Unfamiliar app developers or unknown app stores.
  • Apps requesting excessive permissions.
  • Unusual glitches or bugs in the app.

What should I do if I suspect a security breach?

  • Immediately change your password and report the breach to the app developer and relevant authorities.
  • Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity.

Are there any alternative ways to access telemedicine services?

  • Consider using web-based platforms instead of mobile apps.
  • Look for telemedicine providers that offer secure video conferencing options.

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Summing Up…

Telemedicine apps are here to stay. The facility to get the treatment sitting in the home has made it more popular with the lockdown announcement.

As the use of these apps is increasing its pace, ensuring the safety of the patient's data is a concern to be taken care of. Implementing the hacks mentioned above before developing a telemedicine app can be a great way to launch a secure and safe app for your users.


About the Author:

Writer at SecureBlitz | + posts

John Raymond is a cybersecurity content writer, with over 5 years of experience in the technology industry. He is passionate about staying up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the field of cybersecurity, and is an avid researcher and writer. He has written numerous articles on topics of cybersecurity, privacy, and digital security, and is committed to providing valuable and helpful information to the public.

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