The Amazon Web Service (AWS) Transcribe feature automatically converts speech to text in real time. For healthcare organizations, this service can be used to add subtitles to telehealth consultations or transcribe doctor-patient conversations. While this could aid medical transcription, is it HIPAA compliant software?
AWS Transcribe and the business associate agreement
You may already know that covered entities are bound by HIPAA laws to implement safeguards to keep protected health information (PHI) secure and protected from unauthorized disclosure. But HIPAA laws also apply to business associates, or third-party vendors, that access, store, or transmit PHI.
Covered entities must ensure business associates are protecting PHI as required by HIPAA laws. This is why a business associate agreement (BAA) is crucial to staying in compliance with HIPAA. A BAA details the responsibilities and duties of the business associate in regards to how it protects PHI.
If there is no BAA signed, then the business associate is not HIPAA compliant.
Not all AWS services are HIPAA-eligible, but Amazon is willing to sign a BAA for healthcare organizations using AWS Transcribe. An organization will have to navigate its account settings to self-service a BAA.
AWS Transcribe and data security
Besides a BAA, covered entities also need to investigate a business associate’s security safeguards. Some companies have more robust security protocols than others. At AWS Transcribe, these are some of the data security safeguards available:
- Two-factor authentication
- Set up API and user logging activity with AWS CloudTrail
- Use AWS encryption solutions
- Use Amazon Macie for advanced managed security systems
Is AWS Transcribe HIPAA compliant?
Yes, AWS Transcribe can be HIPAA compliant. Amazon is willing to sign a BAA covering the AWS Transcribe solution. Data security can also be customized to meet a healthcare organization’s security requirements.
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