HIPAA was written in 1996, pre-dating even the rise of the consumer Internet. Because of its dated language and wide-sweeping nature, HIPAA can be tough to decipher, creating confusion for developers who are attempting to determine both whether the app they’re building needs to be HIPAA compliant or not, and more importantly whether they have actually built a compliant application or not. Further, multiple changes to HIPAA privacy and security rules over the years has increased confusion.

Recent announcements from Apple and Google about their health app platforms have brought this topic back into the news, as more developers seek to develop apps for these platforms. One question that continually rises is the connection between application hosting and application compliance. With HIPAA compliant hosting available, does running an app from a HIPAA compliant hosting environment make the app itself compliant?

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