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API (Application Programming Interface): is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer then puts the blocks together. Many text messaging applications are considered APIs, and the building blocks allow for the needed customizability Conditional branch logic: coding that allows software to match a specific feedback response to an incoming message (if A then respond with B)


CSC (Common Short Codes): Shorter numbers, usually 5-6 digits, from which a text message can be sent or received; short codes can be leased for a fee from the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA)


Encryption: The encoding of a message by digitally scrambling the information to prevent interception of messages by third parties


End user: Refers to the party who is the primary recipient of messages in a text message program


mHealth (Mobile Health): Refers to the overall use of mobile devices in healthcare, which includes text messaging, cellular applications, internet applications and interfacing with electronic health records, and other types of data transmission.  

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service): A message format used in smart phones that can include media content


Server: Computer software and hardware that facilitates network service


Opt-in: The option of a recipient to start participation by sending a text message of a dedicated opt-in key word to the program’s short code


Opt-out: The option of a recipient to end participation in the text message program and stop receiving further messages


Platform: Computer software/hardware frameworks that allow software programs to run


SMS (Short Messaging Service): A simple, limited character (140-160) text message format that is compatible with any type of cellular phone


SMS gateway: The primary function of a SMS gateway is to translate messages between different carriers’ protocols A gateway user sends SMS messages to a gateway, which then routes the messages to either a mobile phone, another SMS gateway or a SMSC (short message service center which delivers the message to the recipient. A gateway allows users/applications to send messages from a web browser


SMSC (Short Message Service Center): is the portion of the wireless network that handles routing, forwarding, and storing of incoming text messages. SMSCs are connected via SMS gateways. Different carriers have different SMSC message protocols and most often an SMSC is dedicated to handle the traffic of a single wireless carrier