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Asynchronous and Synchronous Telemedicine Solutions

by Peter Killcommons

Peter Killcommons is a longtime health care industry executive who has led San Francisco-based Medweb since 1992. Peter “Pete” Killcommons' firm facilitates global solutions in the areas of telemedicine, radiology, and disaster response.
There are two basic types of telemedicine – asynchronous and synchronous. The latter service enables real-time consultation between the patient and the medical provider, and a remotely-located specialist with treatment-specific expertise. This system enables specialists to be accessed around the world, without the expense of physically transporting a patient to a specialized hospital or clinic. Positive outcomes are supported through the use of state-of-the-art video equipment and medical cameras, with data encrypted and securely transferred. Medweb emphasizes the use of advanced synchronous technologies in its Telestroke system, which supports the time-sensitive needs of patients at risk of stroke.
Also known as “store and forward” applications, asynchronous telemedicine features delayed communications. Video, images, and other data are transferred to another site before they are uploaded, viewed, and responded to. Asynchronous applications have the benefit of being cost effective and simple to maintain and use.
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