Telemedicine Key Terms

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We recently wrote a comprehensive guide about telemedicine, Everything to Know About Telemedicine Addiction Treatment, and realized that many folks may not be familiar with some of the jargon used.

Some of the phrases sound clinical and/or tech-based which can make them feel inaccessible. Researching terms is an added task that can be hard to do when we’re already feeling overwhelmed. So we thought a quick summary of these terms might be helpful! 

Below you will find some of the most commonly used terms to refer to telemedicine.

Telemedicine glossary of key terms

Term Meaning
API Application Programming Interface — an API is software that allows applications to communicate about records and facilitate other practice management. 
ASP Application Service Provider — an ASP hosts applications on a central server. This allows customers to access information securely without needing to purchase software.
Audio-teleconferencing A phone call between two or more people. 
Authentication A way of verifying the identity of the person using (sending or receiving) information related to telemedicine.
Bandwidth A measure of the capacity of a communications channel.
Broadband A type of communication allowing information to flow over various frequencies.
CBPR Computer-based patient record.
EAP Employee Assistance Program
Encryption The process of securing data which can only be retrieved by a person carrying a passcode or encryption key.
Firewall Equipment (software and hardware) that prevents malicious attacks and unauthorized communication on computers and networks.
HIPAA Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act
ICT Information & Communication Technologies
MAT Medication-assisted treatment
Router The hardware that provides the ability for digital equipment to communicate via networks.
SAMHSA Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
Telemedicine The delivery of healthcare and exchange of health information remotely & in real-time
Telehealth An umbrella term used to describe telecare & telemedicine
Telecare The electronic devices & technologies used to deliver remote healthcare services. 
WiFi A technology that allows digital devices (computers, laptops, smartphones, printers) to interface with the internet.


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Olivia Pennelle (Liv) has a masters in clinical social work from Portland State University. She is a mental health therapist, writer, and human activist. Her writing has appeared in STAT News, Insider, Filter Magazine, Ravishly, The Temper, and Shondaland. She is the founder of Liv’s Recovery Kitchen, Life After 12-Step Recovery, and Tera Collaborations. She lives near Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Instagram @Livwritesrecovery and @teracollaborations

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