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Step 1: Office of Technology Transfer Intellectual Property Analysis

Emory units desiring to release mobile applications should contact the Emory Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) for a review of the intellectual property and commercial prospects of the application. This process includes completion of an IP disclosure. In general, any application owned by Emory will be released under the Emory brand and through the Emory App Store or Marketplace accounts. There may be exceptions to this general rule in the case of collaborations between Emory and other partners or in a case where technology has been licensed to a third party. Typically, OTT will kick off this review process and coordinate the review with the other units listed in steps 2, 3, and 4 below. Panya Taysavang (ptaysav@emory.edu) is the primary contact with OTT.

Step 2: Communications & Marketing Branding Review

Mobile applications that are to be released under the Emory brand undergo a branding review with Communications & Marketing. Communications & Marketing will be preparing a set of written guidelines and resources for the proper branding of Emory mobile applications. Stanis Kodman (stanis.kodman@emory.edu) is the point of contact with Communications & Marketing.

Step 3: Legal Counsel Review

OTT will inform and consult with Emory Legal Counsel on the outcome of the IP review in step 1 and any specific plans for commercializing or charging for the mobile applications, its terms of use, etc.

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Step 1: Request Internal Distribution of the Application

In order to review an app for internal distribution, a mobile app must first be distributed to the internal Emory reviewers using the Emory Mobile App Catalog. Complete the Internal Mobile App Distribution Request Form to start the process. A mobile app can usually be distributed internally to a restricted group in two or three days from the time of the request. Distribution to a large internal audience usually take two to three weeks to complete the internal review process, and distribution on public marketplaces may take several weeks to several months depending on the complexity of the app and the compliance and commercial implications of the app.

Step 2: Internal Posting Review

Emory Library and Information Technology (LITS) performs a high-level technical review of the application to determine if there is a need for any detailed security and compliance reviews of the application. For example, if the application collects and stores ePHI, credit card information, or other compliance related data,

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Emory LITS will inform the owners of the application of relevant policies and any practices required by those policies. See the template for this cursory review

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LITS

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will create a copy of the review template specifically for the requested application review and ensure the application owners have access to the template to complete the information. LITS staff will help complete this template as needed.

Once this technical review is completed, Emory LITS will copy the appropriate marketplace submission templates for the application. There are two submission templates: one for the Apple App Store and one for Google Play. Each submission template has the list of relevant artifacts that must be assembled to submit an application to each marketplace. Application owners will complete these templates and append all images and files to the template. Once the template is complete, LITS staff will submit the application with the appropriate marketplaces.

The following are links to the Marketplace Submission Templates:

Step 3: Compliance and Regulatory Review

Emory University and Emory Healthcare compliance officers review the mobile application to determine whether or not Emory's HIPAA compliance or other appropriate compliance policies apply. Emory's compliance officers provide the following general guidance in determining whether or not HIPAA applies to a mobile application:

  1. If the mobile application collects, stores, or transmits personal health information for the personal use of the consumer and not for Emory people in their role as researcher, clinician, or support role, then HIPAA does not apply to the application.
  2. If such an application provides Emory researchers or clinicians access to the personal health information for the purposes of research or patient care, then HIPAA does apply to the application.
  3. All such applications that collect, store, or transmit personal health information must implement appropriate information security measures to protect personal health information, regardless of whether or not Emory's HIPAA compliance policies apply. 
  4. Emory Information Security has compiled a list of mobile app defaults and mobile app specific security review questions that must be considered when designing, developing, and distributing mobile apps.

Step 4: Technical & Information Security Reviews

Using the answers to the mobile app security questions, Emory LITS performs a high-level technical review of the application to determine if there is a need for any detailed security and compliance reviews of the application. For example, if the application collects and stores ePHI, credit card information, or other compliance related data, Emory LITS will inform the owners of the application of relevant policies and any practices required by those policies. Additional materials may be required, depending on the type of review specified. The organizer of the technical review team will contact application developers and help them prepare any additional materials.

If an in-depth security review is required, a meeting is scheduled with representatives of Emory Information Security to walk through a mobile app security checklist based on the security, compliance, and regulatory requirements that are relevant to the particular application.

Subsequent App Update Submissions

For subsequent application updates, application owners should update the technical review template and if there are substantial changes, request another review. For example, if the nature of the data being collected or stored by the application has changed and now ePHI is being collected when it was not before, then a new review should be scheduled. Application owners should also update the

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internal submission forms relevant to their applications for each subsequent submission.

Mobile and Mobile Web Application Initiative Inventory

Emory is presently exploring options for an internal mobile app store and registry. In the interim, a list of known Emory mobile applications serves this purpose.


Internal App Review and Distribution Process Flow

Please on click the image below to enlarge.

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