The Python markup language is notable among developers. It is mainly used to create applications. The language is easy to learn, which is why most developers prefer it. In fact, some of the giant apps like Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify are written in Python. But when it comes to building healthcare applications, it is crucial to consider whether Python is a safe language to serve this purpose. Essentially, the best language for creating healthcare applications should be HIPAA compliant.
HIPAA compliance explained
HIPAA (Health Insurance Transfer and Accountability Act of 1996) refers to a list of regulatory standards that dictate the legal use and disclosure of sensitive health information. Simply put, HIPAA compliance is a practice that healthcare industries incorporate into their operations in an effort to secure and protect health information. Healthcare organizations usually get new patient information every day because more patients keep flocking to hospitals.
For example, global healthcare data increased significantly in 2020. There was an increase from 153 exabytes to 2,300 exabytes between 2013-2020. Despite the increase in the amount of data, healthcare professionals must secure the data to keep it away from third parties and cybercriminals. Using secure programming languages is one way to improve data security.
It is imperative that healthcare applications comply with the HIPAA Compliance Scheme. This includes all applications, including private applications and those connected to a public network such as web applications, mobile applications, or a CRM. During development and implementation planning, HIPAA compliance should be the primary objective. Furthermore, the application must comply with HIPAA guidelines for security and privacy to enhance the integrity and availability of ePHI and confidentiality.
Is Python suitable for creating healthcare applications?
The Python programming language is used in various industries, including the healthcare industry. It enables organizations, clinicians and healthcare professionals to provide excellent services to patients via dynamic and scalable applications.
Because healthcare generates a lot of information every day from facilities and patients, health experts can use the data to discover effective treatment methods and the best overall healthcare delivery scheme. The Python programming language benefits the healthcare industry in that it enables health professionals to interpret data by working with AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) in healthcare.
The language also derives useful insights from data by allowing for computational possibilities. Helping ideas have been gained in healthcare applications. Although you can use any programming language to develop healthcare applications, Python is considered the best option. Comes with built in hardware to enhance safety. Keep in mind that the issue of safety in the healthcare industry is a primary concern, particularly with the implementation of electronic health records (EHR).
Unfortunately, not all programming languages are 100% safe. The application is fully secured if the developer uses best practices, effective security policies and strategies. Python is more secure due to its popularity since most security vulnerabilities are already known, and most of them can be addressed by skilled Python developers.
Python is not only powerful, but it is easy for developers to learn. But it requires the utmost caution because language has no controls or limits. It is the programmer who decides what to do and what to avoid.
Tips for Building HIPAA Compliant Python Applications
1. Access Restrictions
Developers need to restrict access to keep unauthorized parties away. Healthcare information should only be available to authorized individuals (these are the people who have been allowed access to the ePHI). In accordance with HIPAA security and privacy rules, no one is allowed to access excess patient data. As a result, developers can assign different privileges and restrictions to different user groups. This helps categorize authorized users and the amount of patient health information they have access to.
2. User authentication
You can offer a variety of security options to individuals to meet HIPAA licensing standards. These include unique and strong passwords, biometrics (voice ID, face or fingerprint), physical means of authentication (key, card, digital signature, token), and personal identification numbers.
3. Backup and restore data
Data backup is a central necessity of the HIPAA technical infrastructure, and so you should consider it when it comes to building HIPAA compliant Python applications for healthcare. The app should come with backup and restore feature, and it is better to create offline backups of app information. You can use application data reliability checks to ensure that PHI information is not changed during data backup and restore.
If the data is changed, the automated alarm will trigger the data integrity alarm. Also, put safety measures in place so that the appropriate support team can check the alert and fix the problem if necessary. Prohibit the export of data from databases at the application layer. Furthermore, you can use HIPAA compliant backup software with agents that can backup MySQL or SQL databases. It is very important that you copy the backup data to a different information center in the United States.
Finally, the Python programming language is deeply structured and features strict grammar rules that must be adhered to. However, it is easy to follow and thus ideal for healthcare application development. To enhance its effectiveness, implement safety tips for creating HIPAA compliant healthcare Python applications.