We’ve seen first-hand the ways that a mobile app or web app can positively impact a customer’s experience. In healthcare, this can drive an even bigger impact—making healthcare more accessible and more personal across the globe. 

However, there’s one big word that often prevents healthcare organizations from going down the path of improving their digital experiences, and that one word is ‘HIPAA.’ But in reality, HIPAA compliance should be the opposite of scary. As someone who has used an app to schedule my own doctor’s appointments, I, just like everyone else here at LaunchPad Lab, can understand and relate to the importance of protecting patient data on a personal level.

How Does HIPAA Impact the Process of Developing an App?

Navigating all of the HIPAA requirements while designing an aesthetically pleasing user interface can be a bit of a dance, but we’ve done it many times before on projects like Kubo Health, Dispute Bills, and Digital Dental Solutions.

HIPAA compliance applies to businesses and their associates that handle Protected Health Information (PHI) and spans any form of information that includes common identifiers, such as name, address, date of birth, social security numbers, physical or mental health conditions, any details on payments, and more.

All HIPAA-compliant apps must also adhere to four rules in particular:

From a development standpoint, the quickest and most efficient way to create an app that abides by HIPAA standards is to pick technologies that already uphold these requirements, such as Heroku and Contentful.

Designing & Developing for Security Requirements

When planning for the design and development of a healthcare app, HIPAA compliance must be accounted for from the very beginning of the project kickoff. This ensures that the product team can anticipate certain needs and pages that may not otherwise be considered.

While this is not all-encompassing, some examples are:

Design Considerations
When designing a HIPAA-compliant website, designers must be mindful of the level of information that can be shared or not shared on each page. Rather than using lorem ipsum filler text during mockups, it’s important to understand the exact type and length of content that must be added to each page and cross-reference to ensure it satisfies the minimum requirements.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
While authentication may sound like a no-brainer for compliance, there’s still more to it than simply listing it as a requirement. A designer needs to spend time designing MFA into the user flows, such as creating an account, signing in, and resetting passwords.

HIPAA Policy
Similar to a privacy policy, to be HIPAA compliant, the website must include an accessible HIPAA policy.

Forms, Links, and Partners
Any outbound link or form on a HIPAA-compliant website or application must also follow HIPAA compliance and follow proper data encryption.

Technology That Makes HIPAA-Compliance Easier


Heroku offers world-class platform security and proactive protection. The physical infrastructure is hosted and managed at Amazon’s secure data centers, using AWS technology and backed by their stringent security standards

Beyond that, each application on the Heroku platform runs in its own environment. Customer data is stored separately in an access-controlled database through Heroku Postgres, keeping client applications secure and stable. 

If you have an application that requires additional compliance or security measures, such as HIPAA or PCI-compliant apps for regulated industries, Heroku Shield hosts applications in an isolated container with additional guards and security options. With its advanced security and protection, Heroku serves as an excellent option for high-compliance applications requiring legal or industry-specific requirements to be met.


Contentful’s composable content platform helps healthcare customers manage content that can be pulled into regulated apps, such as an EHR. For example, if a customer can add a series of health conditions (illnesses) and treatments—content that is not regulated, and can be public—into a regulated environment like an EHR via API.

Within Contentful’s powerful platform, admins can create a process to review and publish content to HIPAA-compliant websites and apps. This gives admins full control over the content across multiple platforms.

Wrapping It Up

Healthcare is personal—and we build experiences that are precisely that. While we would always recommend doing your research to ensure your business meets the compliance required by your industry, our LaunchPad Lab team is here to help you attract customers by creating a strong digital experience with our HIPAA-compliant custom application development services

The LaunchPad Lab Team

Our team is a collective of curious minds, problem solvers, and tech enthusiasts. Beyond our dedication to building innovative digital products that drive business results, we're passionate about sharing our knowledge and insights through engaging content — offering articles on the latest tech trends, practical advice on product development, and strategies to harness technology for competitive advantage.

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