HIPAA Compliant Mobile Case Logging App for Surgeons

Eradicates Paper Work by Scanning Printed Patient Data via OCR

  • iOS (Objective-C)
  • Realm DB
  • Cocoa Pods
  • Tesseract OCR
  • In-App Purchase APIs
  • Amazon Cognito
  • Amazon S3
  • Stash, Jenkins, Hockey App
Solution iOS case logger and data organizer for surgeons
Industry Healthcare
Engagement model Fixed Price
Methodology Kanban
Team
  • iOS Developers
  • QA Engineers
  • UI Designer
  • Project Manager
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Customer

Case Highlights

Softeq developed the Surgeon App, an iOS case logger and data organizer, which helps surgeons manage patient data and track their cases. 

  • Faster, safer, more convenient, and more secure experience comparing to manual recording
  • Performs patient sticker recognition using OCR technology
  • Supports voice notes and code search
  • Includes offline mode, billing, export, and tracking functions among others
  • Driven by a secure AWS-based back-end
  • Complies with HIPAA security regulations

Problem

The client, a Texan surgeon with 25+ years of practical experience, wanted to eliminate manual paperwork by equipping practicing surgeons with a mobile app. The solution would collect and update patient data and case details by scanning information printed on a paper label using optical character recognition algorithms.

Solution

Benefits

The mobile case logger, when compared to manual recording, is: 

Faster: the user adds a new medical case in just three button clicks.

Safer: the app stores all the data locally on the device and synchronizes it with the Amazon S3 cloud on demand. The Amazon Web Services Infrastructure puts strong safeguards in place to help protect customer privacy. All data is stored in highly secure AWS data centers.

More convenient: the case log is always at hand, in the user's phone.

More secure: to get access to the database, the user needs to go through a multistep authorization process, including biometric authentication.

Key App Functions

  • Patient sticker recognition—the user takes a photo of the patient’s sticker with a phone camera. The app reads the data using the OCR technology.
  • Voice notes—the user adds important case details for future reference by dictating them.
  • Code search—the user searches for the right CPT and ICD10 codes associated with the case.

Additional Functionality

  • Offline mode
  • Export
  • Tracking
  • Favorites
  • Billing
  • Subscriptions
  • Cloud backup

Back-end

The back-end combines the interrelated Amazon Cognito and S3 services to enable authentication, data backup and advanced information security.

Solution security

Digital medical solutions have to comply with HIPAA Security Rules, establishing security standards for the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (ePHI). To address these requirements, Softeq created a security system that included the following protection layers: 

Authentication layer:

  • Step-by-step Amazon Cognito-powered authorization process
  • Strong user password
  • Biometric Touch ID authentication
  • Auto log-out

Data protection layer:

  • High level encryption of database
  • Extremely secure Amazon S3 cloud server
  • Backup is only available to authorized users

Challenges

The client specified that the most important features of the app were the accuracy of data recognition and patient information security—meeting HIPAA requirements. Therefore, Softeq paid special attention to implementing the OCR algorithms and security system.

Softeq analyzed the following OCR libraries and compared them against the criteria of ownership cost, quality of recognition, compatibility with required platforms, and offline mode availability: 

  • Tesseract OCR
  • iOS OpenCV 
  • Abby Cloud OCR
  • Yunmai Document Recognition SDK

Tesseract OCR happened to be the first choice for this project due to its offline-access mode, compatibility with all the required platforms, and free-to-use status. 

OCR’s performance heavily depends on the brightness uniformity, contrast, and resolution of the scanned photo. To meet the required parameters, the image must be processed by the following algorithms and filters, integrated into the app’s custom layer, created by Softeq:

  • Bleaching
  • Noise removal
  • Contrast adjustment
  • Shadow removal

Results

Project Outcomes

Softeq created a fully functional mobile case logger for professional surgeons, meeting medical industry standards, including HIPAA Security Rules on the patient data protection. The Surgeon App allows users to collect and update patient data in a few clicks via OCR and be sure that this sensitive information is well protected from loss or theft by the AWS-based back-end and secure authentication system.