Most definitions found in this glossary are adapted with permission from this text book:

Maheu, M., Whitten, P., & Allen, A. (2001). eHealth, Telehealth & Telemedicine: A Guide to Startup and Success. New York: Jossey-Bass.

Browse the glossary using this index

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An instrument in orbit around the earth used to amplify, receive, or transmit electromagnetic signals over a wide geographical area, or footprint.
Entry link: Satellite


Methods to control access and to protect information from accidental or intentional disclosure to unauthorized persons and from alteration, destruction, or loss.
Entry link: Security

Short Message Service

Short Message Service (SMS) refers to the text communication service of telephone, web or mobile phone or other communication systems. Text messages (also known as texting) use SMS.
Entry link: Short Message Service

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

Is a facility that houses chronically ill, usually elderly patients, and provides long-term nursing care, rehabilitation, and other services.


Entry link: Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

Smart card

A plastic device, the size of a credit card, with embedded memory. Smart cards are used, especially in Europe, for people to carry their own medical records, images, and other information.
Entry link: Smart card


A smartphone is a mobile phone offering more advanced computing ability and connectivity. In essence, these are handheld computers integrated into mobile phones.
Entry link: Smartphone

Spoke Site (see also Originating Site or Referring Site)

Is the location of the clients/patient receiving a telehealth service.

Entry link: Spoke Site (see also Originating Site or Referring Site)

Store and Forward (see also Asynchronous)

Technologies allow for the electronic transmission of medical information, such as digital images, documents, and pre-recorded videos. Asynchronous transmissions typically do not occur in real time, and take place primarily among health care professionals, to aid in diagnoses and consults, when live video or face-to-face client/patient contact is not necessary.

Entry link: Store and Forward (see also Asynchronous)


Describing an asynchronous connection that permits audio clips, video clips, still images, or data to be held now and transmitted or received at a later time. Store-and-forward technology can be used to create a multimedia computerized medical record.
Entry link: Store-and-forward

Switched network

A telecommunication system in which every user has a unique address such that direct connections between any two users can be established.
Entry link: Switched network

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