Australian Company Launches HIPAA-Compliant Smartphone Imaging App

The company poses PicSafe, launched today, as an antidote to unsafe image sharing between doctors.

A statement regarding the launch of a new medical application cites a 2014 study that found 2/3rds of doctors admitted to taking medical images on their smartphones. Naturally, that number is alarming, and such practice is in defiance of a host of international medical privacy laws.

The company poses PicSafe, launched today, as an antidote.

"With the majority of healthcare professionals surveyed out there now using their own camera-equipped smart devices in their practices, these devices benefit our patients by helping us do our jobs better and more efficiently," says co-founder Dr. Ted Carner, MD, in the statement.

The app claims to be compliant with HIPAA, HITECH, and other privacy laws in effect in Australia, where the company is based. It allows doctors to receive signed or verbal consent from patients to take photos or record audio or video. It compresses and encrypts the content before allowing it to be transmitted to another doctor or into an EMR system. PicSafe also generates an audit report to log who has accessed the content.

The app is a product of Melbourne-based developer Slay Pixel Works, and joins Hot Health as the company’s two medical applications (its others range from games to parking space finders). Hot Health, yet to be released, was made on behalf of Global Health Limited and is an internal and external health system communications platform.

The company’s statement anonymously quotes a US doctor as saying that “"Everyday in the hospital we get into dicey territory taking pictures with our mobiles. We know it's against the code of practice, but it just makes things run so much faster. An app, which encrypts the info upon sending, is an amazingly useful tool."