Box gets hip to HIPAA, adds health-record apps

Think some cloud-storage options are no good for privacy-sensitive applications like health care? Box wants you to think again. ┬áKeen on boosting its enterprise customer base and prepping for an IPO, the company said Wednesday it’s now HIPAA-compliant, enabling Box to handle personal health information.

Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act means that Box provides file redundancy to prevent data loss in a disaster, restrictions on employees’ access to documents, a breach-notification policy, data encryption and other features.

Beyond talking about meeting regulatory standards, Box is also promoting 10 new partner applications in its marketplace, including the drchrono iPad application for viewing electronic health records and the TigerText Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for texting and sharing documents among health care providers.

It’s not as though Box has yet to take on business from health care companies, though. It’s got hundreds of paying health care customers, said Whitney Bouck, general manager of Box Enterprise. Customers include the Garden City Hospital and the Henry Ford Health System, both in Michigan, according to a Box statement. Still, Bouck said that because of the HIPAA compliance and application partnerships, the company expects a much higher annual revenue growth rate in the health care area than the companywide figure, which stands at 160 percent.

Adding creature comforts to entice customers in health care and other sectors is important for the cloud-storage contenders such as Box, Dropbox and at least a dozen other storage providers, all of which want to become the Dropbox of the enterprise. Box is following, (s crm) Microsoft (s msft) and other cloud collaboration providers by connecting with apps catering to industries. At the same time, those software giants are adding Box-like cloud storage capabilities of their own.