Patient photos with a Smartphone

by Larry Emmott on May 1, 2017

in Cameras,Security

If you are using a smart phone for patient photos such as before and after images, diagnostic planning photos or even ID photos for the digital chart, you might have a HIPAA problem.

If the dentist or team member has their phone set up for cloud storage of images, and most of us do, then as soon as that patient photo is taken it is whisked up to iCloud or Dropbox or wherever for storage. Now you have a problem.

If your smartphone patient images are on iCloud Apple is now a Business Associate storing digital PHI. You will need a Business Associate Agreement with Apple and if iCloud is hacked – again – you will have a reportable data breach. Either don’t use your phone for patient photos or turn off the cloud storage feature when you do. A task easier said than done.

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