Charging that the federal regulatory environment has not kept pace with the exploding mobile health sector, Reps. Tom Marino (R-Penn.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) have sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell calling on HHS to clarify and update HIPAA guidance given new mHealth technologies.

The congressmen point out in their Sept. 18 letter that regulatory documentation on the HHS website outlining technical compliance with HIPAA “has not been updated since 2006, years before an app store existed, much less the modern mobile device.” The problem, they say, is that mHealth app vendors “want to fully comply with HIPAA regulations, but have difficulty confirming that they have done so because current regulatory guidance does not cover technologies that they are using.”

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