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Definitions

  • Asynchronous Telecommunication - Telecommunication systems that store medical information such as diagnostic images or video and forward it from one site to another for the physician or health care practitioner to view in the future at a site different from the patient. This is a non-interactive telecommunication because the physician or healthcare practitioner views the medical information without the patient being present.
  • Store and Forward - "Store and forward" means the asynchronous transmission of medical information to be reviewed at a later time by physician or practitioner at the distant site. A patient's medical information may include, but is not limited to, video clips, still images, x-rays, MRIs, EKGs and EEGs, laboratory results, audio clips, and text. The physician or practitioner at the distant site reviews the case without the patient being present. Store and forward substitutes for an interactive encounter with the patient present; the patient is not present in real-time. Asynchronous telecommunications system in single media format does not include telephone calls, images transmitted via facsimile machines and text messages without visualization of the patient (electronic mail). Photographs must be specific to the patient’s condition and adequate for rendering orconfirming a diagnosis and/or treatment plan. Dermatological photographs, e.g., a photograph of a skin lesion, may be considered to meet the requirement of a single media format under this instruction.
  • Synchronous Interactive Audio and Video Telecommunication, Interactive Audio and Visual Transmissions and Audio-Visual Communication Technology - Real-time interactive video teleconferencing that involves communication between the patient and a distant physician or health care practitioner who is performing the medical service. The physician or health care practitioner sees the patient throughout the communication, so that two-way communication (sight and sound) can take place.
  • Telehealth - Telehealth is broader than telemedicine and takes in all health care services that are provided via live, interactive audio and visual transmissions of a physician-patient encounter. These health care services include non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings and continuing medical education; in addition to clinical services. Telehealth may be provided via real-time telecommunications or transmitted by store-andforward technology.
  • Telemedicine - Telemedicine services involve the delivery of clinical medicine via real-time telecommunications such as telephone, the internet, or other communications networks or devices that do not involve in person direct patient contact.

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