Telemedicine: What is it?

Telemedicine: What is it?

What is Telemedicine?

Simply put, telemedicine is “the remote treatment and diagnosis of patients by telecommunications”. Depending on the state, telemedicine can be the remote treatment of patients by phone, text/email, and video.

There are three common types of telemedicine utilized today. Below we will explain what they are and how each is used by clinicians today. They are asynchronous, synchronous, and remote patient monitoring.

Asynchronous (Store and Forward)

Definition: Asynchronous telemedicine also known as “Store and Forward” is a method of collecting patient information and sending it to another site for evaluation.


  1. A patient suspects they have a skin rash. They visit an online site and take a photo of their rash for a doctor to review along with filling out a questionnaire about their symptoms. The clinician reviews the report and follows up with the patient for the treatment plan.


Synchronous (Interactive/2-way)

Definition: Synchronous telemedicine also known as “interactive or 2-way” is the method of treating a patient in realtime by either video or phone. It’s a 2-way link between the patient and the provider.


  1. A patient sees a psychiatrist at their local clinic via a 2-way video link for therapy or medication management. They can both see and hear each other and can collaborate in an interactive setting.


Remote Patient Monitoring

Definition: Remote Patient Monitoring is a technology that enables clinicians to monitor patients outside of conventional clinical settings. This can be at their home or in a remote area.


  1. A patient is having sleeping problems. They visit a Sleep Medicine physician who prescribes them a take-home sleep test. The physician remotely monitors the sleep test to come to a diagnosis.

Vivo TeleHealth has experience implementing all three types of telemedicine. If you have any questions about what might be best for your organization, don’t hesitate to contact us today.