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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 155-158

Available videoconferencing freeware and medical education

Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amit Chail
Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_122_20

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Background: Traditionally medical education involves classroom teaching, small group discussions and bed-side clinics. These have become difficult to conduct in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Video-conferencing software and apps provide pragmatic alternatives for medical education in this scenario. However, the apps are not designed specifically for medical education. In this background, we aimed to review available video-conferencing freeware (platforms/apps) for their suitability in imparting post-graduate medical education. Methodology: Software and apps were searched on Android and iOS platforms. Freeware were selected based on pre-defined criteria. They were evaluated for features supporting post-graduate medical education like participant numbers, time limit, user comfort and security features. Results: Our search yielded 118 video conferencing software and apps. Of these, 07 free apps met the initial inclusion and exclusion criteria. 'Say Namaste' was included post-hoc. Most apps allowed adequate numbers of participants and were comfortable for users. Only two apps had end-to-end encryption. Conclusion: Video-conferencing freeware can serve as a viable alternative for some aspects of medical teaching. Provision of certain additional features would make these apps more effective for post-graduate medical education.

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