ANN ARBOR — Dr. Gregory Dumanian figured there had to be a better way. When there wasn’t, he created his own solution: HipaaCat, a HIPAA-compliant communication system for health care providers to exchange notes and images over their cell phones.

The plastic surgeon realized the flaws in the way his team communicated patient information. In plastic surgery, photos are essential in watching incisions, wounds, and tissue health over time. How those photos and other information was being shared, however, had its shortcomings.

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It wasn’t uncommon for Dumanian’s team to take a photo of a “flap” – a piece of tissue moved around the body but still connected with its blood supply for reconstructive surgery – and scramble around the hospital seeking a color printer. The photo would be downloaded, printed, carried back to the patient’s room and hung on a wall for the next shift to use as a comparison when patient care transitioned between hospital shifts.

“That is the way it was done a year ago,” Dumanian said. “That’s just crazy in this day and age, but there was no other way to do it with the large teams involved in patient care.”

An obvious solution to sharing photos was born with cameras on personal cell phones. However, sending unencrypted photos and data in that manner is a violation of HIPAA privacy rules protecting personal health information.

After reaching out to numerous hospitals around the country and realizing none of them had a HIPAA-compliant mobile device system that focused on transitions of care and HIPAA compliance — Dumanian set out to create his own.

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He contracted with Oak Brook, Ill.-based IT consulting firm SD3 to create HipaaCat, a mobile device application that allows assigned levels of image and note exchange between members of his health care team.

Dumanian and Paul Hannon, President of SD3, then selected Ann Arbor-based Online Tech to host the cloud-based application. Online Tech is the only independently HIPAA audited hosting provider in the country offering a complete range of hosting options.

The result is a complete system that can transfer notes and images to and from multiple mobile application devices (including iPhones, iPads, Android and Android tablets), but data travel through a secure central server and are encrypted at every stage.

The application has value in numerous fields of medicine that benefit from visual monitoring of healing – such as vascular surgery, trauma care, orthopedics and infectious disease. Dumanian recently unveiled a patient-to-doctor version of the app called “My Doctor Note” that facilitates HIPAA compliant communication of photos and messages between a doctor and patient.

Backed by independent HIPAA, PCI, SAS 70, SSAE 16, SOC 2, and SOC 3 audits, Online Tech delivers the security, privacy, and availability expected from world class data center operators. For more information, visit, call (877) 740-5028, or email

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Learn more about Paul Hannon and SD3 at