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Patricia O'Connell
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Kirk Nahra Discusses Wearable Health Technology and HIPAA

July 29, 2015

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted in a recent TechTarget article about whether wearable health technology is subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) privacy protections.

HIPAA covers health information collected through wearable devices that patients receive from their hospitals or doctors, according to the article. But HIPAA does not cover commercial fitness trackers such as Fitbit.

Mr. Nahra said privacy laws could be revised in a number of ways to address that discrepancy, and noted that lawmakers probably weren’t thinking about mobile and wearable health technology when they were drafting HIPAA regulations in 1996.

“What’s happened in the last, say, decade is we’ve got more … situations where health-related information is being created and developed in that gap,” he said. And wearable companies not bound by HIPAA fall into that gap.

To read the full article, please click here