Top 5 HIPAA Compliant Chat Apps For Healthcare Professionals

With virtual consultations and monitoring becoming the norm in the covid era, it is becoming increasingly important to have secure and easy-to-use mobile applications for healthcare professionals. Virtual medical consultations and patient monitoring through chat applications have to be secure. Owing to the nature of information and records shared on the chat app, users look for a highly secure app. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) came into being to enable HIPAA compliant texting. 

HIPAA, introduced in 1996, has laid rules and guidelines to protect health information. A plan and structure have to be followed when creating a HIPAA compliant chat api. Patients can share information and health records with their doctors and nurses on the telemedicine app without risking privacy. 

In this article, we are going to talk about HIPAA compliant texting, the benefits of using HIPAA compliant apps, and the top healthcare messaging apps. You will get to know what makes a successful HIPAA compliant phone app and will be able to build one. 

Read on to get to know all about HIPAA compliant texting app.

HIPAA Compliant texting – What does it mean?

An individual or entity that receives, creates, maintains, and/or transmits healthcare information should comply with the norms laid by HIPAA. This is done by developing an app that is built-in to fulfil the requirements. HIPAA compliant texting feature in the healthcare app enables quick communication within the healthcare staff to promptly attend to the patient. Such communication can either be within the hospital or across different hospitals. 

Advantages of HIPAA Compliant messaging app

Fine not levied

HIPAA compliant messaging is mandatory for healthcare professionals. Any medical doctor or nurse working in a hospital or clinic setting who does not comply with HIPAA to communicate with patients and other medical professionals regarding patient treatment and records will have to pay a fine. Fine up to $1.5 million can be levied upon a medical doctor or nurse for this breach. Hence, it is essential to use HIPAA compliant messaging for authenticity, security, and encryption of the chat app. 

Enhancement of productivity

HIPAA compliant text messaging services speed up the productivity of healthcare professionals. This is because any medical information can be securely communicated from within the application. Using HIPAA text messaging, one can send and receive prescriptions, x-rays, scans, reports, and any other information required for treatment and monitoring of a patient.

Cost-efficient

Since all medical communication can be done within the HIPAA secure app, other devices such as printers, computers, fax machines, and any other machine are not required. The cost of operating and maintaining other devices is reduced making HIPAA secure apps cost-efficient.

Characteristics of a HIPAA compliant app

Features of HIPAA compliant app are based on satisfying the rules and regulations of HIPAA. Here are the features of HIPAA compliant texting service for doctors and patients.

Characteristics of HIPAA secure app for patients

Secure chat and messaging

Patients can chat or message their doctors for advice, opinion, or to clarify doubts using the chat app. In instances where patients are unable to visit the healthcare provider, the HIPAA compliant app is a boon.

Book doctor’s appointments

HIPAA compliant text messaging services will have the doctor’s calendar that shows vacant slots to book appointments. Patients can book appointments to visit the hospital from within the chat app.

Get reminders and messages from hospitals

Patients can receive an appointment confirmation message, delay, or rescheduling in the application. Precautionary and informative messages can also be received from the hospitals.

Characteristics of HIPAA secure app for doctors

Secure data sharing

Doctors can communicate with other doctors and nurses within the same hospital or at other hospitals regarding the patient’s health securely within the chat app. 

Store health records of patients

Referring to the medical history of any patient while treatment is crucial. When the patients contact the doctor for any questions or concerns, the doctor can refer to the case history of a patient on the app. Storage of health records is crucial for communication between doctor and patient. 

Receive notifications

The app will notify the doctor of scheduled appointments with patient details. Having all the details beforehand, help the doctor plan their workday. 

Top HIPAA chat app

Apart from the fact that HIPAA compliant apps are secure, they have additional features that make them easy to use for doctors as well as patients. Live chat, video calling, remote patient monitoring, creation of groups to aid communication within physician specialties, delivery status of the message, call and e-mail are some of the best features that make the medical app user-friendly. Users can communicate using any medium of communication out of the several mediums made available. Groups within the apps enable closed communication within a department – say, neurologist, neuro nurses, patient, and medical history. The same patient can create another group for another department within the same hospital, say, gastroenterology. Similarly, several groups can be created for different hospitals to maintain privacy within the safe space of the app.

  • Well
  • Klara
  • Health Engage
  • Brosix 
  • Luma Health
  • Backline

Best HIPAA compliant app for healthcare professionals

Medical professionals and companies dealing with the medical information of patients are required to use HIPAA compliant chat apps. Any company/enterprise that deals with a patient’s Personal Health Information (PHI) in communication remotely has to use a HIPAA texting app. The information should be secure through all the channels and devices. This is ensured by HIPAA compliant messaging app and here are the best of them.

Send Bird

Send Bird is widely used by medical professionals and enterprises alike as it is packed with all the features that doctors and patients need to communicate with each other. It is secure and HIPAA compliant.

Features

Chat messaging – offline messaging, in-app messages/announcement, integrate chat with CRM

Calling – direct call (one-to-one), group calls, multi-device, cross-platform

Live chat – secure and instant conversations with healthcare professionals, in-app selling increases sales, audio recording, and messaging.

User Experience

Send Bird is BAA compatible. Conversations within the app can be streamlined as multiple conversations can be running and managed at once. The customer support team is supportive and helpful.

Cost 

Starter 5K pack costs $399/month. This includes messaging, customer support, and basic moderation.

Pro 5K pack costs $599/month. This includes all features of the starter pack and message translation, advanced moderation, and filters. 

Twilio

Twilio is a HIPAA secure app. It has several platforms to utilize for communicating with other users. SMS, MMS, Voice call, video call, live chat, WhatsApp are some of the prominent features. The pricing is customized based on the mode of communication chosen and the number of users on it. 

Features:

Messaging – conversations, notifications, alerts, marketing messages.

Calls – call tracking, global conferencing, alerts, masked calling, Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Video – Telehealth, education, and training of healthcare students and professionals

Live streaming – audio & video

e-mail – between doctor & patient, marketing emails 

User experience

The interface is clean and easy to use. It can be integrated with a CRM system and is reliable. It is easy to switch calls from within the application. The quality of calls over voice and video is clear. Since pricing is based on the feature used and the number of users, it is cost-effective.

Pricing

For voice call – $0.013 per minute to make a call and $0.0085 per minute to receive a call 

Texting – $0.0075 to receive or send a message

e-mail – 100 emails free per day. 40k e-mails can be sent and received in one month at $14.95 per month

WhatsApp messaging – $0.005 per WhatsApp session message and $0.0042 to send WhatsApp template message

Cross-channel conversation (WhatsApp, SMS, MMS, Chat) – $0.05 per month per active user.

Video – $0.0015 per minute per participant

CONTUS MirrorFly

CONTUS MirrorFly is considered to be an excellent telemedicine application in today’s day and age. Users can chat, send audio, videos, files, and yet consume less space on the mobile. Chat groups can be created in the application to make communication easier within the HIPAA compliant app.

Features

Message and chat – text message, group message, creation of groups, video calling, offline message, live streaming

Voice calling – individual call, group call, text to speech, speech recognition globally

Video calling – screen sharing, screen recording, video call

User experience

Setting up the chat app is super-fast and easy. Also, it is easy to customize the app and conversations are end-to-end encrypted. CONTUS MirrorFly has a mobile application and a web version that can be used on any device. 

Cost

Pricing of CONTUS MirrorFly is not available upfront. Contact the sales team to explain your requirements and get a custom quote.

Plivo

Plivo is a Voice API platform that can be integrated into any application. It is used to receive, make and control calls from within the application and can be used globally. Pricing is competitive and is customized based on the country of the user. Though calling is the primary feature of Plivo, SMS and MMS are also made available for ease of communication. Added to this, it is a HIPAA compliant phone app.

Features

  • Voice call
  • Voice mail
  • Conference call
  • Voice survey
  • Call forwarding

User experience

It is easy to set up the Plivo app and easy to use. SMS, MMS feature is available on the app. Detailed tracking for calls, SMS, MMS is available. Customer service is excellent and timely. 

Cost

Pricing is based on the country of the user. You can contact the sales team of Plivo to get detailed pricing for the country you are in and the services you’d like to use. 

Getstream.io

Getstream.io is a HIPAA compliant chat application. It has a great customer base with people from diverse backgrounds. Getstream.io can handle one-to-one messaging, group chat, and live chat. It is an easy-to-use chat application that is widely popular among medical professionals. 

Features

  • Direct chat
  • Group chat
  • Create channels and collaborate
  • Livestream chat service

User experience

Getstream.io is easy to use and navigate. Data insights of the website are provided on the app dashboard. Detailed reports help in analyzing data internally and work on the required parameters to grow faster. Data is stored in the cloud and can be retrieved at any time without any security issue.

Cost

Start-up pack – $499/month

Standard pack – $1,299/month

Premium pack – $2,299/month

Enterprise pack – customized price. Contact sales team of Getstream.io

Summary

All the HIPAA compliant chat applications mentioned above are widely used by doctors, healthcare professionals, and enterprises dealing with patient information. They are easy to get started with, have great features, are HIPAA compliant and are easy on the pocket. Choose the app that suits the needs of your hospital/healthcare center to benefit the most out of the telemedicine chat application. 

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