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  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

    Daily self care activities within an individual’s place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both. Health professionals routinely refer to the ability or inability to perform ADLs as a measurement of the functional status of a person, particularly in regards to people with disabilities and the elderly.

  • Assistive Technology

    The selection and use of assistive, adaptive, rehabilitative, and supportive devices and technologies for people to use which help improve their overall quality of life.

  • Bluetooth

    A technology to link phones, computers and other devices over short distances without wires. Bluetooth was designed primarily to support simple wireless networking of personal consumer devices and peripherals, including cell phones, PDAs, and wireless headsets. Wireless signals transmitted with Bluetooth cover short distances, typically up to 30 feet (10 meters).

  • Broadband

    A new generation of high-speed transmission services, which allows users to access the Internet and Internet-related services at significantly higher speeds than traditional modems. Broadband can be commonly accessed in 4 different ways: Existing telephone lines – DSL, A cellular communications link, Cable, or Satellite communications.

  • Broadband Speed

    A measurement of how quickly data can be uploaded and downloaded using a broadband service. Different broadband speeds are required for different applications. The Federal Communications Commission offers a free service to consumers to help them determine the best broadband speed for their specific application – If broadband service already exists, its speed can be tested at

  • Cellular Network

    A wireless network distributed over a specific geographical location called a cell. Each cell is operated by at least one fixed-location transceiver, known as a cell site or base station.

  • Centralized Information Control

    A health monitoring system design in which all information is sent to a central location for processing before decisions are made and actions are taken. This central location is often outside the home on the premesis of an outside company.

  • Compliance

    An individual’s adherence to a specific regimen, treatment plan or guideline.

  • Delayed Output

    An output signal “held” by a sensor for a specific period of time before being sent to another device.

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

    A technology for transmitting data over traditional copper telephone lines already installed in the workplace or residence. DSL is one of four different methods to obtain broadband communication.

  • E-health

    The adoption and effective use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and other Health Information Technology (HIT) to improve healthcare quality, increase patient safety, reduce health care costs, and enable individuals and communities to make the best possible health decisions. Across the nation, e-health is emerging as a powerful strategy to transform the healthcare system and improve the health of communities.

  • Electronic Health Record (EHR)

    A computerized record of a person’s health history over time, typically within and for a single health organization. EHR systems increasingly include tools that assist in the care of the patient or result in greater efficiency, such as e-prescribing, appointments, billing, clinical decision support systems, and reports. Because of such tools, EHR systems are much more than just computerized versions of the paper medical chart. Proper planning and implementation of an EHR system can typically take six-24 months in clinics, and three years or more in a hospital.

  • Ethernet

    The most common type of connection computers use in a local area network (LAN). An Ethernet port looks much like a regular phone jack, but it is slightly wider. This port can be used to connect your computer to another computer, a local network, or an external DSL or cable modem.

  • Event Based Intervention

    An immediate alert or alarm information that is generated from intentional or unintentional physical interaction with an electronic device or system. Also see Instant Activation.

  • Family Care Circle

    A group of people who are directly involved in different aspects of managing another’s healthcare for emotional reasons, typically family members or relatives.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS)

    A space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information anywhere on or near the Earth.

  • Health Information Exchange (HIE)

    The secure, electronic exchange of health information between organizations/information systems that meet HIPAA guidelines.

  • Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

    Simply stated this law acknowledges that any individual owns his or her health information and has the right to access or request this information in printed or electronic format at any time and that professional healthcare workers must follow specific guidelines when sharing an individual’s health record to insure confidentiality and maintain privacy of the information.

    HIPAA also gives the right to privacy of medical information to individuals from age 12 through 18. The healthcare provider must have a signed disclosure from the individual before giving out any information on provided healthcare to anyone, including parents.

  • Health Information Technology (HIT)

    Tools designed to automate and support the capture, recording, use, analysis and exchange of health information in order to improve the quality at the point of care. HIT is a broad term that includes EHR systems, e-prescribing, Personal Health Records, digital radiologic images, tele-health technologies, and many others.

  • Home Health Monitoring (HHM)

    The act of placing technology devices within the home to help measure an individual’s wellbeing, activity or specific health condition.

  • Independent Activities of Daily Living (IADL)

    Activities performed by an individual that require no assistance from another individual or specific technology.

  • Internet of Things (IOT)

    Refers to the wireless interconnectivity of different identifiable, embedded computing devices with access to the Internet.

  • Interoperability

    The ability of information systems to work together e.g. to exchange data electronically, such that each system “understands” what the data are, the meaning of that data, and what to do with it. In everyday terms, interoperability is what is meant by the phrase, “computers can talk to each other.”

  • Interpretive Diagnostic Monitoring (IDM)

    Tests or monitoring done within the home whose results are reliant upon the analysis and expertise of a trained healthcare professional.

  • Intervention Response Time (IRT)

    The period of time that elapses from when an alert has been generated until an individual or system responses to that event.

  • IP Address

    A numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: to identify the host or network and the address or location of the devices attached to the network.

  • Local Area Network (LAN)

    A communications configuration that is confined to a specific physical location. The “clients” on the LAN are user workstations running the Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems, while the “servers” hold programs and data shared by the clients. Servers come in a wide range of sizes from PC-based servers to mainframes.

  • Minnesota e-Health Initiative

    A public-private collaborative that represents the Minnesota health and health care community’s commitment to prioritize resources and to achieve Minnesota’s mandates. The initiative is legislatively authorized and has set the gold standard nationally for a model public-private partnership.

  • Minnesota Home Health Technology Center (MHHTC)

    An online resource center, based in Minnesota, that provides information and training to empower consumers and professionals in the use of home health technologies.

  • Mobile Health (mHealth)

    Various health related activities that are primarily delivered and used by a mobile computing device.

  • Near Field Communications (NFC)

    A technology that allows similar devices to establish a wireless radio connection with each other by touching them together or bringing them close together, usually no more than a few centimeters apart.

  • Passive Measurement

    A sensor or activity that has been designed to generate an electrical signal without the intentional activity of an individual or object.

  • Pattern Based Decision Making

    A mode of operation in which information is sent from sensors through a sensor interface to a computerized processing system where it is compared against existing criteria, i.e. time and frequencies, to determine a proper response.

  • Personal Area Network (PAN)

    The interconnection of information technology devices within the range of an individual person, typically within a range of 10 meters. For example, a person traveling with a laptop, a personal digital assistant (PDA), and a portable printer could interconnect them without having to plug anything in, using some form of wireless technology.

  • Personal Diagnostic Testing (PDT)

    Specific medical diagnostic tests whose information that is obtained from an individual still at home but whose data requires professional healthcare worker oversight. Examples include: Taking blood glucose test or blood pressure measurements.

  • Personal Emergency Response (PERs)

    A specific portion of home healthcare technologies that are associated with an individual personally summoning for emergency assistance when a harmful event is impending or has occurred.

  • Personal Health Record (PHR)

    An electronic storage system for personal health data whereby the majority of this information is maintained by the individual.

  • Primary Information Recipient

    The person who first receives health-related data and becomes responsible for sharing this information with others.

  • Professional Care Circle

    People who receive compensation for their involvement in managing another’s health.

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

    The wireless, non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.

  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

    Obtaining specific health information from devices that measure specific medical conditions.

  • Router

    A hardware device that routes data (hence the name) from a local area network (LAN) to another network connection. A router acts like a coin sorting machine, allowing only authorized machines to connect to other computer systems.

  • Satellite Link

    The use of a satellite for sending and receiving electronic communication.

  • Sensor Interface

    The connection point (wired or wireless) of a sensor’s output signal to another device, typically a computer.

  • Sensor Network

    A group of devices whose electrical output signals are connected by either being wired into or by wirelessly communicating with an information processing device.

  • Sensor Output Signal

    The electrical response by a sensor when conditions within the environment into which it has been placed changes beyond a predetermined level or threshold.

  • Task Assisting Technologies (TAT)

    Simple technology solutions operating inside of a home that assists and individual in completing an activity. Example: Environmental controls such as automatic light activation or thermostat.

  • Telecare

    The act of offering remote care of elderly and physically less able people, providing the care and reassurance needed to allow them to remain living in their own homes. This term focuses more on virtual visitation and observation.

  • Telehealth

    The delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies, typically among professional healthcare providers.

  • Telemedicine

    An environment in which all types of remote medical technology and healthcare are delivered.

  • Telemedicine

    The use of the remotely delivered professional healthcare between two parties. This term encompasses not only information technologies but also remote video consultations and diagnostic image exchange.

  • TeleMonitoring

    Remote collection of patient data from devices that are used to measure and output information from a specific characteristic of an individual.

  • TeleWellness

    The collection and remote transmission of individual’s health and wellness activities not specifically related to any professional healthcare involvement.

  • Threshold

    A predetermined level that has been established in order for a sensor to generate and output signal.

  • Wellness and Activity Measuring (WAM)

    Information that is obtained from measuring a person’s daily activities or movement and developing predictable patterns of movement from those activities. These are used as a tool to compare present day activities against normal daily activities levels and are used to determine the general health condition of an individual.

  • Wi-Fi – Wireless Fidelity (WiFi)

    A wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal. Wi-Fi is the standard way computers connect to wireless networks. Nearly all computers now have built-in Wi-Fi cards that allow users to search for and connect to wireless routers. Many mobile devices, video game systems, and other independent devices also include Wi-Fi capability, enabling them to connect to wireless networks as well. These devices may be able to connect to the Internet using a Wi-Fi signal. However, it is important to understand that the Wi-Fi connection only exists between the device and the router. Most routers are connected to a DSL or cable modem, which provides Internet access to all connected devices.

  • Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN)

    A wireless network of sensors and communication that are worn on the body or installed in other elements, such as clothing, that is worn on the body.

  • Wireless Broadband

    The use of either cellular or satellite communications to access the Internet.

  • Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs)

    A technology that provides wireless broadband access over shorter distances and are often used to extend the reach of a “last-mile” wire line or fixed wireless broadband connection within a home, building, or campus environment. Wi-Fi networks use unlicensed devices and can be designed for private access within a home or business, or used for public Internet access at “hot spots” such as restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, airports, convention centers, and city parks.

  • Wireless Range

    The maximum distance a wireless signal can travel and provide reliable use.

  • Wireless Sensor Network (WSN)

    Wireless communications that are established between devices within a localized area within the home. WSNs utilize low power and have a limited transmission range.

  • Zigbee

    An open global standard for wireless technology designed to use low-power digital radio signals for personal area networks. ZigBee is used to create networks that require a low data transfer rate, energy efficiency and secure networking. It is employed in a number of applications such as building automation systems, heating and cooling control and in medical devices. ZigBee is designed to be simpler and less expensive than other personal are network technologies such as Bluetooth.