Boston’s children’s hospital is utilizing Amazon’s Alexa, a voice command application, to help with technology advancements in the healthcare sector…but Alexa, are you HIPAA compliant? If you keep up with recent cyber attacks at all, you’ve most likely seen reports of a data breach associated to a hospital or organization in the healthcare space. This sector is typically seen as low hanging fruit for hackers as hospitals often use out-dated applications and security systems, and their employees usually lack the awareness attributed to safe practices. All in all, adding technology like Alexa, can potentially create another opportunity for cyber criminals to infiltrate hospitals and expose very sensitive information if it’s not properly utilized.

However, Amazon announced that they can enable HIPAA covered entities and business associates to build so-called “HIPAA eligible” healthcare applications. These will enable Alexa technology to transmit and receive protected health information. As patient data is incredibly confidential, the fact that HIPAA has partnered with Amazon to protect this data while moving forward with tech advancements will be an interesting test in protecting patients.

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