Awrel, a Boston-based start-up, today announced that the first-ever HIPAA-compliant texting application for quick, easy, and secure dental communication and collaboration is available from the App Store for iPhone users and from the Google Play Store for Android users. Developed by dental professionals for use across the dental industry, the solution helps save time and money by streamlining workflow. Perhaps most important, the application’s design ensures that information exchange complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), safeguarding individuals and organizations from the risk of being fined for unlawfully sharing protected patient information.
“Thousands of today’s dental professionals are breaking HIPAA privacy rules by sharing information using embedded SMS texting functionality. Many among them are unaware of the serious risk they face in doing so,” said Lee Culp, a respected innovator, author and lecturer in the dental lab industry. “Awrel is an industry game-changer. Now, dental professionals can use cell phones and mobile devices to quickly and easily share patient data in a secure, HIPAA-compliant way. The industry will likely see significant cost-savings thanks to improved workflow.”
Designed to improve processes, outcomes, and efficiency, the Awrel solution provides functionality to intuitively create custom platforms for individuals and groups to exchange and store information, images, and documents. A dentist, for example, can benefit from specialty consultation directly at the point of patient care or from real-time interaction with a technician creating an implant or cosmetic prosthesis at a dental lab.
As electronic transmission of data has evolved in healthcare, the federal government is scrutinizing increasing numbers of clinicians and healthcare entities, with some paying large fines for security breaches and some even facing imprisonment. “Hospitals, clinics, and physician practices have traditionally been under scrutiny while the dental industry has essentially flown under the radar, at least until recently,” said Awrel Founder and CEO Arnold Rosen, DDS, MBA.
To date, a New York academic medical center has paid the highest fine, $4.8 million in 2014 after the records of 6,800 people were accessible on Google. Rosen cites an April 2015 comment from Adam Greene, a privacy attorney and former Department of Health and Human Services regulator, who said, “it wouldn't be surprising for us to start seeing some really surprising settlement agreements [later this year] with respect to potential record-breaking [financial penalties].”
“Many are frustrated with the time, hassle, and delays of using HIPAA-compliant email systems,” Culp explains. “They want information readily available where and when they need it – during appointments, in the lab, away from the office, etc. With Awrel, clinicians eliminate worries of breaching security and also improve workflow, thereby enhancing opportunities to deliver quality services and products in a timely, cost-effective manner.”
Awrel offers a free 30-day trial of its application for the desktop at http://app.awrel.com or the mobile device from Apple and Google. Pricing is scaled based upon number of users and volume of storage, with custom pricing available for resellers and/or integration into existing systems.
In May 2016, Boston-based Awrel introduced dentistry’s first low-cost, easy-to-use application for 100% HIPAA-compliant texting and collaboration with functionality for image and document exchange, individual and group messaging, collaborative workflow, and cloud-based data archiving. The solution can be used by anyone seeking to ensure HIPAA compliance when texting including dentists and dental labs sharing digital information, Web companies, and practice management companies integrating chats for dentists and patients, dental device reps working with dentists and dental labs, and dental companies and academic environments seeking solutions for secure and private texting. The company offers a stand-alone mobile and desktop application for the dental industry as its initial solution and will roll-out of expanded capabilities and/or apps for use in other clinical environments. Built with interoperability for today’s Internet of Things environment, Awrel will soon offer plug-and-play integration into practice management and other enterprise systems.