HIPAA Compliant Chat API & SDK for Messaging and Voice Conferencing

Given the present digital age, the medical app market is growing popular rapidly. According to a report, there are 54,034 apps as of 2021’s first quarter. In order to build a healthcare app, you need to make sure that it is HIPAA compliant. This is necessary if you want to include communication features like audio/video calling and messaging in your app. In this article, we shall discuss all about HIPAA compliant chat API and SDK in detail.

 

What is HIPAA and PHI compliance - What do they mean?

Let us understand the concepts of HIPAA and PHI compliance one by one.

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It ensures the patient’s data protection. A HIPAA compliant chat api  tool is one that promotes the security and privacy of healthcare promotion. The main idea is to protect PHI (Protected Health Information).

PHI stands for Protected Health Information. It involves details like name, age, account number and all other forms of personal data. Here are some types of PHI for your understanding:

  • Medical records
  • Bill information
  • Insurance information
  • Chat history

Should you use a HIPAA compliant messaging app or website?

According to HIPAA, your communication tool should be HIPAA compliant chat api if you fall in either of the two categories mentioned below:

  • Covered Entities
  • Business Associates

Once, you have got an idea about HIPAA compliant chat api and messaging apps in general. Let's have a brief understanding as to how this hipaa compliant messaging software benefits the healthcare industry in a secure manner when it’s about medical communication concerning treatment.

Advantages of HIPAA Compliant Chat API & SDK

The key factor that allows the entire healthcare industry to focus on telemedicine secure messaging apps is patient's data protection. As per the law, the violation of HIPAA rules and regulations can lead to significant penalties and punishments. Thus, it is considered to be a gold standard for the medical care sector. Let's have a look at some of the benefits of this modern digital health messaging technology,

1.Remote Patient Care - As the pandemic situation has turned the world around, the telehealth messaging solution has helped and uplifted the healthcare industry in all the possible ways. Moreover, it has avoided the patients having hospital visits with a waiting period. Real time HIPAA website chat permits the patients to share their details with their doctor through voice, text and video, to receive immediate care.

2.Complete care with diagnosis and treatment - These doctor patient apps enhance the coordination between doctors and specialists by keeping them on the same page. This supports the doctor to have a keen and accurate analysis over the diagnostic report in a quick manner.

3.Enhances the Efficiency - The usage of the patient messaging software reduces the travelling time for the patient as well as for doctor's with unwanted tasks such as walking from one place to another, etc., which can help in saving money as well as in  productivity. Moreover, this reduces the requirement of more staff.

4.Reduces Response Time - With HIPAA healthcare communication app you can save an appropriate time off of lab testing. Instead of getting the results in person can avail them over the app itself, medical professionals can receive all the related documents instantly via chat.

5.Secure Storage of PHI data - With HIPAA guidelines for communication, the medical professionals can have all their past communications stored safely in the doctor patient communication app. This can allow them to have a secure record of past conversations which can help in improvement in treatment. Even a simple analysis over the documents can let the physician know instantly as if there are any new symptoms or complaints that need to be focused on at the same time.

6.Gentle Reminder - HIPAA compliant messaging software allows a perfect follow-up care. Here, the doctors can use messages to ensure that the patient is following the prescribed treatments. This helps to create a good relationship between medical professionals and their patients. With this you can send patient updates, and notify them about the same instantly.

Well, moving forwards will have an insight over the points that needs to be considered before making a choice with the best HIPAA compliant chat APIs and SDKs

Simple guide to choose the best HIPAA compliant API and SDK

Does your software need to be HIPAA compliant? In this section, we shall discuss the various tools that you can leverage to build HIPAA compliant software. Now, there are three important factors that you need to consider:

HIPAA security standards

Choose a tool that is HIPAA compliant. That should be your first priority. This is to ensure safety while building your software.

1.Price of HIPAA protected API and SDKs

The cost of the tools also matters. Cheap APIs and SDKs might not be that much efficient.

2.Kind of support provided by HIPAA secure texting tool

It is also essential to check the quality of support that the tool is providing to the development of your software.

3.Best tools for developing a HIPAA compliant app or website

Have you been planning to build a HIPAA compliant app or website? We can help you choose the best APIs and SDKs for your software. Here’s a list of some of them:

Contus MirrorFly - Best HIPAA compliant messaging API and SDK

Contus Mirrorfly is a self-hosted chat solution with a complete power-packed message building platform. It connects over 1 million patients, doctors and medical professionals via a single chat solution. You can build the best HIPAA compliant chat app for remote healthcare with MirrorFly API and SDK. Get features like 1-1 chat, video and audio conferencing, health report sharing, telemedicine and many more.

HIPAA security standards: MirrorFly ensures HIPAA compatibility to ensure patients safety. It tends to protect patient’s data from data exposure and ensures privacy configuration via end-to-end encryption. There are multi-layers of protection and security.

Price: It follows the customized pricing pattern. However, you get a 30 minute free consultation. All you need is to do is to request a free demo.

Support: MirrorFly is one of the leading API and SDK providers. It supports multiple top-quality features such as customizable and secure healthcare messaging, audio/video call and audio/video conferencing. It supports around 150+ features and can integrate with both your application and website. You also get features like live broadcasting, push to talk and a lot more.

Sendbird - Popular HIPAA secure messaging API

It is a messaging and chat platform. It supports video and voice calls and is available for web and mobile usage. Sendbird is a HIPAA compliant texting SDK. Get one-on-one texting, group chat, audio and video chats, thumbnail generation, delivery receipt, offline messaging, translation and a lot more. You also get push notifications and response monitoring features.

HIPAA security standards:

Sendbird is HIPAA compliant and protects your chats and messages. It is PHI compliant too and protects your chats and privacy. Sendbird has special policies for reporting breaches and assessing risks.

Price: It has different kinds of plans such as a free plan with limited
functionalities, customized plans to suit your special requirements.

Support: - It is known to provide quality support messaging software. Sendbird is compliant with HHS guidelines by HITECH too. So, if you are looking for an efficient HIPAA compliant API, Sendbird can be a good option.

Twilio - Secure API for HIPAA compliant messaging app and website

Twilio is a cloud-based communication platform. It helps you develop software via most popular communication channels such as SMS, email, voip, audio and video chats. You can record calls and conduct audio conferencing.

HIPAA security standards: Twilio became a reliable partner with Healthcare in 2020. It is HIPAA compliant and includes programmable video, voice, SIP and many more. It has HIPAA eligible services such as peer to peer rooms, group rooms and many more.

Price: Twilio has a ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing model. There is no free version available. However, you get a discount if you purchase more volume of services. You also get a free trial with full API access. Chat conversations are available at $0.05 per user per month.

Support: Get real-time customer communications across channels. Twilio can be leveraged by institutions of any size. It can be the best option for you if you need a multifunctional solution for your software.

Make way for secure communications with HIPAA compliant messaging platform

A HIPAA compliant app or website can perform wonders for you when it comes to managing your communications effectively. Moreover, your conversations remain safe and secured. We hope our article helps you find the best HIPAA compliant chat API and SDK. Choose the best that suits your requirement and give way to protected communications.

#hipaacomplaintchatapi #hipaacomplaintchatsdk #hipaacomplaint #telemedicinechatapi #telehealthchatapi #telehealthmessagingapp 

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HIPAA Compliant Chat API & SDK for Messaging and Voice Conferencing

Top 10 API Security Threats Every API Team Should Know

As more and more data is exposed via APIs either as API-first companies or for the explosion of single page apps/JAMStack, API security can no longer be an afterthought. The hard part about APIs is that it provides direct access to large amounts of data while bypassing browser precautions. Instead of worrying about SQL injection and XSS issues, you should be concerned about the bad actor who was able to paginate through all your customer records and their data.

Typical prevention mechanisms like Captchas and browser fingerprinting won’t work since APIs by design need to handle a very large number of API accesses even by a single customer. So where do you start? The first thing is to put yourself in the shoes of a hacker and then instrument your APIs to detect and block common attacks along with unknown unknowns for zero-day exploits. Some of these are on the OWASP Security API list, but not all.

Insecure pagination and resource limits

Most APIs provide access to resources that are lists of entities such as /users or /widgets. A client such as a browser would typically filter and paginate through this list to limit the number items returned to a client like so:

First Call: GET /items?skip=0&take=10 
Second Call: GET /items?skip=10&take=10

However, if that entity has any PII or other information, then a hacker could scrape that endpoint to get a dump of all entities in your database. This could be most dangerous if those entities accidently exposed PII or other sensitive information, but could also be dangerous in providing competitors or others with adoption and usage stats for your business or provide scammers with a way to get large email lists. See how Venmo data was scraped

A naive protection mechanism would be to check the take count and throw an error if greater than 100 or 1000. The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. For data APIs, legitimate customers may need to fetch and sync a large number of records such as via cron jobs. Artificially small pagination limits can force your API to be very chatty decreasing overall throughput. Max limits are to ensure memory and scalability requirements are met (and prevent certain DDoS attacks), not to guarantee security.
  2. This offers zero protection to a hacker that writes a simple script that sleeps a random delay between repeated accesses.
skip = 0
while True:    response = requests.post('https://api.acmeinc.com/widgets?take=10&skip=' + skip),                      headers={'Authorization': 'Bearer' + ' ' + sys.argv[1]})    print("Fetched 10 items")    sleep(randint(100,1000))    skip += 10

How to secure against pagination attacks

To secure against pagination attacks, you should track how many items of a single resource are accessed within a certain time period for each user or API key rather than just at the request level. By tracking API resource access at the user level, you can block a user or API key once they hit a threshold such as “touched 1,000,000 items in a one hour period”. This is dependent on your API use case and can even be dependent on their subscription with you. Like a Captcha, this can slow down the speed that a hacker can exploit your API, like a Captcha if they have to create a new user account manually to create a new API key.

Insecure API key generation

Most APIs are protected by some sort of API key or JWT (JSON Web Token). This provides a natural way to track and protect your API as API security tools can detect abnormal API behavior and block access to an API key automatically. However, hackers will want to outsmart these mechanisms by generating and using a large pool of API keys from a large number of users just like a web hacker would use a large pool of IP addresses to circumvent DDoS protection.

How to secure against API key pools

The easiest way to secure against these types of attacks is by requiring a human to sign up for your service and generate API keys. Bot traffic can be prevented with things like Captcha and 2-Factor Authentication. Unless there is a legitimate business case, new users who sign up for your service should not have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Instead, only trusted customers should have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Go one step further and ensure any anomaly detection for abnormal behavior is done at the user and account level, not just for each API key.

Accidental key exposure

APIs are used in a way that increases the probability credentials are leaked:

  1. APIs are expected to be accessed over indefinite time periods, which increases the probability that a hacker obtains a valid API key that’s not expired. You save that API key in a server environment variable and forget about it. This is a drastic contrast to a user logging into an interactive website where the session expires after a short duration.
  2. The consumer of an API has direct access to the credentials such as when debugging via Postman or CURL. It only takes a single developer to accidently copy/pastes the CURL command containing the API key into a public forum like in GitHub Issues or Stack Overflow.
  3. API keys are usually bearer tokens without requiring any other identifying information. APIs cannot leverage things like one-time use tokens or 2-factor authentication.

If a key is exposed due to user error, one may think you as the API provider has any blame. However, security is all about reducing surface area and risk. Treat your customer data as if it’s your own and help them by adding guards that prevent accidental key exposure.

How to prevent accidental key exposure

The easiest way to prevent key exposure is by leveraging two tokens rather than one. A refresh token is stored as an environment variable and can only be used to generate short lived access tokens. Unlike the refresh token, these short lived tokens can access the resources, but are time limited such as in hours or days.

The customer will store the refresh token with other API keys. Then your SDK will generate access tokens on SDK init or when the last access token expires. If a CURL command gets pasted into a GitHub issue, then a hacker would need to use it within hours reducing the attack vector (unless it was the actual refresh token which is low probability)

Exposure to DDoS attacks

APIs open up entirely new business models where customers can access your API platform programmatically. However, this can make DDoS protection tricky. Most DDoS protection is designed to absorb and reject a large number of requests from bad actors during DDoS attacks but still need to let the good ones through. This requires fingerprinting the HTTP requests to check against what looks like bot traffic. This is much harder for API products as all traffic looks like bot traffic and is not coming from a browser where things like cookies are present.

Stopping DDoS attacks

The magical part about APIs is almost every access requires an API Key. If a request doesn’t have an API key, you can automatically reject it which is lightweight on your servers (Ensure authentication is short circuited very early before later middleware like request JSON parsing). So then how do you handle authenticated requests? The easiest is to leverage rate limit counters for each API key such as to handle X requests per minute and reject those above the threshold with a 429 HTTP response. There are a variety of algorithms to do this such as leaky bucket and fixed window counters.

Incorrect server security

APIs are no different than web servers when it comes to good server hygiene. Data can be leaked due to misconfigured SSL certificate or allowing non-HTTPS traffic. For modern applications, there is very little reason to accept non-HTTPS requests, but a customer could mistakenly issue a non HTTP request from their application or CURL exposing the API key. APIs do not have the protection of a browser so things like HSTS or redirect to HTTPS offer no protection.

How to ensure proper SSL

Test your SSL implementation over at Qualys SSL Test or similar tool. You should also block all non-HTTP requests which can be done within your load balancer. You should also remove any HTTP headers scrub any error messages that leak implementation details. If your API is used only by your own apps or can only be accessed server-side, then review Authoritative guide to Cross-Origin Resource Sharing for REST APIs

Incorrect caching headers

APIs provide access to dynamic data that’s scoped to each API key. Any caching implementation should have the ability to scope to an API key to prevent cross-pollution. Even if you don’t cache anything in your infrastructure, you could expose your customers to security holes. If a customer with a proxy server was using multiple API keys such as one for development and one for production, then they could see cross-pollinated data.

#api management #api security #api best practices #api providers #security analytics #api management policies #api access tokens #api access #api security risks #api access keys

Autumn  Blick

Autumn Blick

1601381326

Public ASX100 APIs: The Essential List

We’ve conducted some initial research into the public APIs of the ASX100 because we regularly have conversations about what others are doing with their APIs and what best practices look like. Being able to point to good local examples and explain what is happening in Australia is a key part of this conversation.

Method

The method used for this initial research was to obtain a list of the ASX100 (as of 18 September 2020). Then work through each company looking at the following:

  1. Whether the company had a public API: this was found by googling “[company name] API” and “[company name] API developer” and “[company name] developer portal”. Sometimes the company’s website was navigated or searched.
  2. Some data points about the API were noted, such as the URL of the portal/documentation and the method they used to publish the API (portal, documentation, web page).
  3. Observations were recorded that piqued the interest of the researchers (you will find these below).
  4. Other notes were made to support future research.
  5. You will find a summary of the data in the infographic below.

Data

With regards to how the APIs are shared:

#api #api-development #api-analytics #apis #api-integration #api-testing #api-security #api-gateway

Zachary Palmer

Zachary Palmer

1555901576

CSS Flexbox Tutorial | Build a Chat Application

Creating the conversation sidebar and main chat section

In this article we are going to focus on building a basic sidebar, and the main chat window inside our chat shell. See below.

Chat shell with a fixed width sidebar and expanded chat window

This is the second article in this series. You can check out the previous article for setting up the shell OR you can just check out the chat-shell branch from the following repository.

https://github.com/lyraddigital/flexbox-chat-app.git

Open up the chat.html file. You should have the following HTML.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <title>Chat App</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="css/chat.css" />
</head>
<body>
    <div id="chat-container">
    </div>
</body>
</html>

Now inside of the chat-container div add the following HTML.

<div id="side-bar">
</div>
<div id="chat-window">
</div>

Now let’s also add the following CSS under the #chat-container selector in the chat.css file.

#side-bar {
    background: #0048AA;
    border-radius: 10px 0 0 10px;
}
#chat-window {
    background: #999;
    border-radius: 0 10px 10px 0;
}

Now reload the page. You should see the following:-

So what happened? Where is our sidebar and where is our chat window? I expected to see a blue side bar and a grey chat window, but it’s no where to be found. Well it’s all good. This is because we have no content inside of either element, so it can be 0 pixels wide.

Sizing Flex Items

So now that we know that our items are 0 pixels wide, let’s attempt to size them. We’ll attempt to try this first using explicit widths.

Add the following width property to the #side-bar rule, then reload the page.

width: 275px;

Hmm. Same result. It’s still a blank shell. Oh wait I have to make sure the height is 100% too. So we better do that too. Once again add the following property to the #side-bar rule, then reload the page.

height: 100%;

So now we have our sidebar that has grown to be exactly 275 pixels wide, and is 100% high. So that’s it. We’re done right? Wrong. Let me ask you a question. How big is the chat window? Let’s test that by adding some text to it. Try this yourself just add some text. You should see something similar to this.

So as you can see the chat window is only as big as the text that’s inside of it, and it is not next to the side bar. And this makes sense because up until now the chat shell is not a flex container, and just a regular block level element.

So let’s make our chat shell a flex container. Set the following display property for the #chat-window selector. Then reload the page.

display: flex;

So as you can see by the above illustration, we can see it’s now next to the side bar, and not below it. But as you can see currently it’s only as wide as the text that’s inside of it.

But we want it to take up the remaining space of the chat shell. Well we know how to do this, as we did it in the previous article. Set the flex-grow property to 1 on the #chat-window selector. Basically copy and paste the property below and reload the page.

flex-grow: 1;

So now we have the chat window taking up the remaining space of the chat shell. Next, let’s remove the background property, and also remove all text inside the chat-window div if any still exists. You should now see the result below.

But are we done? Technically yes, but before we move on, let’s improve things a little bit.

Understanding the default alignment

If you remember, before we had defined our chat shell to be a flex container, we had to make sure we set the height of the side bar to be 100%. Otherwise it was 0 pixels high, and as a result nothing was displayed. With that said, try removing the height property from the #side-bar selector and see what happens when you reload the page. Yes that’s right, it still works. The height of the sidebar is still 100% high.

So what happened here? Why do we no longer have to worry about setting the height to 100%? Well this is one of the cool things Flexbox gives you for free. By default every flex item will stretch vertically to fill in the entire height of the flex container. We can in fact change this behaviour, and we will see how this is done in a future article.

Setting the size of the side bar properly

So another feature of Flexbox is being able to set the size of a flex item by using the flex-basis property. The flex-basis property allows you to specify an initial size of a flex item, before any growing or shrinking takes place. We’ll understand more about this in an upcoming article.

For now I just want you to understand one important thing. And that is using width to specify the size of the sidebar is not a good idea. Let’s see why.

Say that potentially, if the screen is mobile we want the side bar to now appear across the top of the chat shell, acting like a top bar instead. We can do this by changing the direction flex items can flex inside a flex container. For example, add the following CSS to the #chat-container selector. Then reload the page.

flex-direction: column;

So as you can see we are back to a blank shell. So firstly let’s understand what we actually did here. By setting the flex-direction property to column, we changed the direction of how the flex items flex. By default flex items will flex from left to right. However when we set flex-direction to column, it changes this behaviour forcing flex items to flex from top to bottom instead. On top of this, when the direction of flex changes, the sizing and alignment of flex items changes as well.

When flexing from left to right, we get a height of 100% for free as already mentioned, and then we made sure the side bar was set to be 275 pixels wide, by setting the width property.

However now that we a flexing from top to bottom, the width of the flex item by default would be 100% wide, and you would need to specify the height instead. So try this. Add the following property to the #side-bar selector to set the height of the side bar. Then reload the page.

height: 275px;

Now we are seeing the side bar again, as we gave it a fixed height too. But we still have that fixed width. That’s not what we wanted. We want the side bar (ie our new top bar) here to now be 100% wide. Comment out the width for a moment and reload the page again.

So now we were able to move our side bar so it appears on top instead, acting like a top bar. Which as previously mentioned might be suited for mobile device widths. But to do this we had to swap the value of width to be the value of height. Wouldn’t it be great if this size was preserved regardless of which direction our items are flexing.

Try this, remove all widths and height properties from the #side-bar selector and write the following instead. Then reload the page.

flex-basis: 275px;

As you can see we get the same result. Now remove the flex-direction property from the #chat-container selector. Then once again reload the page.

Once again we are back to our final output. But now we also have the flexibility to easily change the side bar to be a top bar if we need to, by just changing the direction items can flow. Regardless of the direction of flex, the size of our side bar / top bar is preserved.

Conclusion

Ok so once again we didn’t build much, but we did cover a lot of concepts about Flexbox around sizing. 

#css #programming #webdev 

An API-First Approach For Designing Restful APIs | Hacker Noon

I’ve been working with Restful APIs for some time now and one thing that I love to do is to talk about APIs.

So, today I will show you how to build an API using the API-First approach and Design First with OpenAPI Specification.

First thing first, if you don’t know what’s an API-First approach means, it would be nice you stop reading this and check the blog post that I wrote to the Farfetchs blog where I explain everything that you need to know to start an API using API-First.

Preparing the ground

Before you get your hands dirty, let’s prepare the ground and understand the use case that will be developed.

Tools

If you desire to reproduce the examples that will be shown here, you will need some of those items below.

  • NodeJS
  • OpenAPI Specification
  • Text Editor (I’ll use VSCode)
  • Command Line

Use Case

To keep easy to understand, let’s use the Todo List App, it is a very common concept beyond the software development community.

#api #rest-api #openai #api-first-development #api-design #apis #restful-apis #restful-api

Marcelle  Smith

Marcelle Smith

1598083582

What Are Good Traits That Make Great API Product Managers

As more companies realize the benefits of an API-first mindset and treating their APIs as products, there is a growing need for good API product management practices to make a company’s API strategy a reality. However, API product management is a relatively new field with little established knowledge on what is API product management and what a PM should be doing to ensure their API platform is successful.

Many of the current practices of API product management have carried over from other products and platforms like web and mobile, but API products have their own unique set of challenges due to the way they are marketed and used by customers. While it would be rare for a consumer mobile app to have detailed developer docs and a developer relations team, you’ll find these items common among API product-focused companies. A second unique challenge is that APIs are very developer-centric and many times API PMs are engineers themselves. Yet, this can cause an API or developer program to lose empathy for what their customers actually want if good processes are not in place. Just because you’re an engineer, don’t assume your customers will want the same features and use cases that you want.

This guide lays out what is API product management and some of the things you should be doing to be a good product manager.

#api #analytics #apis #product management #api best practices #api platform #api adoption #product managers #api product #api metrics