The latest in a long list of rules that constrain health IT development are the HIPAA/HITECH regulations. (Read all about them here on HealthBlawg.)The Federales begin enforcing these regs on September 23, 2013
HIPAA was not intended to make things worse, but the rules can lead organizations to be very conservative in their actions.
If patients want to use email, standard SMS, non-HIPAA compliant consumer device data, or applications that run on the cloud - they should be able to. Fortunately, there is a way to make this possible.
The object of the Hacking HIPAA project is to create crowdfunded legal forms based on crowdsourced ideas from the Health IT developer community as well as the health care provider and more traditional health IT communities.