Blue Jeans adds HIPAA compliance to conferencing service


Blue Jeans conferencing technology now is an option for members of the university community who deal with health records protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The University of Michigan has signed a business associate agreement with Blue Jeans Network to enable the secure transmission and recording of conferences involving protected health information (PHI).

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Since June 2014, Blue Jeans has been offered free-of-charge by Information and Technology Services to all U-M faculty and staff members. With the ease of the UMICH sign-on, Blue Jeans delivers high-resolution telepresence videoconferencing, content sharing, and real-time video sharing.

ITS funded the cost of providing the service through May 31, 2016.

Until now, a large segment of the university community has been unable to use Blue Jeans with PHI due to HIPAA restrictions. With the new agreement in place, the U-M Health System and other units who handle personally identifiable health information — School of Dentistry, School of Nursing and the College of Pharmacy, for example — can take full advantage of the service, too.

Since August 2014, Blue Jeans has exceeded expectations across the university. ITS forecasts that bringing it in line with HIPAA regulation will accelerate its growth even more, allowing members of UMHS to save time and resources by meeting remotely.

“The use of Blue Jeans at U-M has skyrocketed in the past year, connecting over 120,000 people for almost 5 million minutes of conference time around the world,” said Andy Palms, ITS executive director of communications systems.

“Now, we are excited to expand the service even further to the health system whose work must be HIPAA-compliant.”

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To secure protected health information involved in Blue Jeans conferences, new requirements have been established:

• Meetings that involve PHI — unless conducted via phone — must be set up with encryption.

• Recordings of meetings that involve PHI must be stored either in Blue Jeans, on a secure, encrypted computing device, or a file storage service approved for PHI.

• When sharing recordings in Blue Jeans that contain PHI, use the Enterprise Level sharing option to ensure that access is limited to appropriate individuals.

• For use in telemedicine or telehealth, users must consult the eHealth Center at 734-647-3089 or the UMHS internal website.

U-M also has entered into an agreement for Blue Jeans Primetime, an add-on service designed for large-scale, interactive events.

With Blue Jeans Primetime, event hosts have access to moderator controls that allow them to mute participants, pin presenters, promote attendees and record the event — all while streaming to thousands of viewers. Presenters and attendees can join from a range of video or audio devices, including room systems, computers and mobile devices.



  1. Fadi Islim
    on November 2, 2015 at 3:35 am

    Great information. However, you missed to provide information on how could be accessed, meaning a nurse practitioner wants to use blujeans to present/ meet for other institution, how could she access bluejeans? How can she set it up? If I record a meeting on bluejeans, could someone else access the video if it is not shared and watch it?

    Thanks/ Fadi.

    Note: bluejeans, has a glitch, that if your presenting a spreadsheet for example and tried to edit it as you go, it will kick you out / sign you out. And you have to re-sign in. Not very friendly.
    Also, it should have a setting memory, if you choose not to use the Camera, it should not stream out your face every time you sign in.

    • Ken Caldwell
      on November 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Hi Fadi,

      To get started using Blue Jeans, please visit the ITS web page listed under More Information:

      A Blue Jeans user account is needed to schedule, host, or moderate a Blue Jeans meeting. It is not needed to attend a meeting. All U-M faculty, staff and sponsored affiliates can register for a Blue Jeans user account.

      For recorded meetings, the best practice is to download the recording and store it on M+Box (which is also HIPAA-compliant). It can be shared as needed from M+Box. Recordings can be stored on Blue Jeans for up to 90 days. After 90 days they will be purged and cannot be restored.

      If you continue to experience the glitch you described, please contact the ITS Service Center directly at 734-764-HELP (764-4357) or by email at [email protected].

    • Todd Austin
      on November 2, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Hi, Fadi.

      As Ken indicated, anyone who received a paycheck from U-M has access to Blue Jeans at A U-M affiliate would need to create the virtual room for the meeting, but anyone anywhere can join with any of the range of technologies that Blue Jeans supports. See the introductory video at It’s really helpful and is constantly updated in parallel with new versions of the software.

      The person who creates the Blue Jeans room is the one who can set it to auto record (it’s in the Advanced Meeting Options), or turn it on during the meeting from the browser plugin or app. Also, that same person is the one who receives the recording inside their account, from where it can be downloaded and shared. I use Box for that, too.

      On the Powerpoint issue, I just tried it out and had no such problems. I would strongly suggest that you contact Blue Jeans support. Head back to the page and click on the Live Help black box in the lower right-hand corner of the page. Their support is great and they may very well be able to help you work through this issue. Your local IT folks might need to get involved, too, depending on the issue.

      Finally, on the subject of settings, the new Blue Jeans app will do exactly what you want. Download it from and connect from within it, rather than using the browser interface. The app stores settings and will connect you the next time in the same way you connected the last time.

      If you (or anyone else on campus! 🙂 ) would like a hands-on introduction to Blue Jeans, I urge you to sign up for one of my regular 75-minute workshops at MLB. I go through various uses of the service and walk participants through the user experiences both from the perspective of a guest and from that of an organizer. You’ll find all the upcoming workshops listed at the following URL, where you can register, too:

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