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Google Cloud collaborates with Kinvey for HIPAA-compliant mobile Backend-as-a-Service

April 4, 2016
Sravish Sridhar

Founder/CEO, Kinvey

Our guest blogs are written by third-party developers, partners and experts with real-world expertise creating and running applications on Google Cloud Platform. They're a great way to dive into the thoughts and opinions of folks at the forefront of software engineering and business development in cloud computing. Today’s guest blog is by Sravish Sridhar, Founder and CEO of mobile Backend-as-a-Service provider, Kinvey.

Modernizing legacy enterprise apps to work on mobile devices is no small feat, and if you want to be sure those apps still meet tough government regulations once mobile, you’re in for a world of complexity.

Kinvey's collaborating with Google to simplify this process. We’ve extended our mobile Backend-as-a-Service — a fully-managed, HIPAA compliant platform built on Google Cloud — to developers at healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and in life sciences. Our services satisfy the stringent policies of patient privacy as mandated by U.S. Government HIPAA regulations.

Kinvey on GCP provides a decoupled architecture for front-end developers to iterate on their apps and deliver them in an agile manner, without having to wait on backend systems owners to provision connectors to enterprise data and auth systems. Here’s how it works:

  • An app developer starts to build the UI/UX of their app using the front-end programming language or framework of their choice — Android, Objective-C, Swift, Ionic, Xamarin, PhoneGap, etc.
  • The developer downloads the Kinvey SDK for the particular language they're using and uses the appropriate Kinvey SDK to take care of client-side functionality like managing and anonymizing auth tokens, marshaling data between the app and Kinvey’s backend APIs, offline caching and sync and data encryption.
  • The app is wired up to backend functionality by leveraging Kinvey’s backend features, such as an identity service to register/login users, data store to store and retrieve data from the cloud, file store to cache large files like photos and videos, and custom business logic that can be written and provisioned on Kinvey’s Node.js PaaS
  • In the meantime, owners of backend enterprise systems can connect Kinvey to their enterprise auth and data sources, without writing any code. They use Kinvey’s Mobile Identity Connect (MIC) to connect to auth protocols like Active Directory, OpenID, LDAP, SAML, etc. and Kinvey’s RAPID data connectors and custom data links to connect to enterprise data services like Epic, Cerner, SAP and SharePoint. Services provisioned via MIC and RAPID are then made available to the front-end developers by publishing them in Kinvey’s Service Catalog, with appropriate access policies.
  • The front-end developer can then "flip a switch" and instruct Kinvey to use a MIC auth service instead of the default Kinvey auth service, and one or more RAPID services instead of sample data stored in collections in the Kinvey data store.
  • With no front-end app code change, the app then works end-to-end with enterprise auth and data systems.

By providing connectors to Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems like Epic and Cerner, Kinvey makes it easy for developers to launch apps without having to focus on complex enterprise integrations.

Healthcare customers require a HIPAA compliant solution to ensure that patient data is secure end-to-end. Google Cloud Platform’s infrastructure, Cloud Storage and CDN allow us to store and deliver ​data and files in a highly secure and compliant fashion. Specifically, our mBaaS on Google Cloud offers features such as:

  • Plug-in client features for offline caching, network management and RESTful data access to accelerate development
  • Turn-key backend services for data integration, IAM and orchestration for new mobile use cases
  • Microservices for interconnectivity between your enterprise systems
  • Security at every level from mobile client to infrastructure layer
  • Mobile app analytics and reporting for fine-tuning operations

To see how to get started, sign up for Kinvey’s HIPAA compliant mobility platform.
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