One question that we’re often asked relates to privacy and access to information; sounds like the perfect subject for a blog post…
Let’s start with HIPAA – The CDC states that “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (also known as ‘HIPAA’) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.”
OK, that’s the official wording but what does it really mean? In simple terms, nobody should ever share your health information without permission.
StackCare tracks motion data and looks for changes or unusual patterns that could indicate a problem; if or when the system does sense an issue we send an alert notification securely to your family member or caregiver. So, we don’t have any access to health information but we still take our responsibilities seriously.
We use a variety of encryption techniques, starting with a random 28-30 digit code to identify any specific location. That makes it realy, really difficult to break into. Then, motion data is stored as 1’s and 0’s so that even if someone were to hack our database all they would see is lots and lots of unidentifiable and useless information. The real magic of StackCare is the separate data science algorithms that constantly scan the data; they’re really the key to understanding motion and without them everything stays beautifully hidden.
With StackCare there’s no cameras and no microphones, our philosophy is that seniors are entitled to their privacy and dignity so our technology uses simple infra-red sensors; that’s the same thing that opens the supermarket door when it senses you approaching.
So we don’t know, or care, if your senior loved one wears pajamas in the middle of the day and it’s his personal business who his friend is! ?
Next, a note on bathroom visits: StackCare includes a bathroom sensor because it’s statistically a prime area for falls and there’s lots of hard surfaces in there. However, as the system is tracking motion/occupancy it has no idea whether the resident is brushing their hair or using the toilet; it does filter out brief visits (such as grabbing a tissue and leaving again) but over the first couple of days the system learns what is typical for that individual person or couple. Notifications are looking for changes in patterns or unusual events such as being in the bathroom for too long in the middle of the night, which could be an illness or a fall! Senior loved ones don’t need to worry, we’re not ’watching’ what they do in there.
So, in strict legal terms StackCare doesn’t fall under HIPAA regulations, but we’re always proud to say that we’re HIPAA-compliant; we meet all the requirements and guidelines because we want to, not because we need to.
We treat your senior loved ones’ information as if they were our own parent or grandparent, and in some cases they actually are… Hi Mom! ?❤️
Nigel Mould, CEO – StackCare
P.S. To answer a bunch more questions that Mom/Dad might have just click here!