The clinical use of Skype—for which patients, with which problems and in which settings? A snapshot review of the literature

Armfield, Nigel R., Bradford, Madeleine and Bradford, Natalie K. (2015) The clinical use of Skype—for which patients, with which problems and in which settings? A snapshot review of the literature. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 84 10: 737-742. doi:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2015.06.006


Author Armfield, Nigel R.
Bradford, Madeleine
Bradford, Natalie K.
Title The clinical use of Skype—for which patients, with which problems and in which settings? A snapshot review of the literature
Journal name International Journal of Medical Informatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1386-5056
1872-8243
Publication date 2015-07-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2015.06.006
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 84
Issue 10
Start page 737
End page 742
Total pages 6
Place of publication Shannon, Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
Low-cost and no-cost software-based video tools may be a feasible and effective way to provide some telemedicine services, particularly in low-resource settings. One of the most popular tools is Skype; it is freely available, may be installed on many types of devices, and is easy to use by clinicians and patients. While a previous review found no evidence in favor of, or against the clinical use of Skype, anecdotally it is believed to be widely used in healthcare for providing clinical services. However, the range of clinical applications in which Skype has been used has not been described.

Aim
We aimed to identify and summarize the clinical applications of Skype.

Methods
We reviewed the literature to identify studies that reported the use of Skype in clinical care or clinical education. We searched three electronic databases using the single search term “Skype”.

Results
We found 239 unique articles. Twenty seven of the articles met our criteria for further review. The use of Skype was most prevalent in the management of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, followed by educational and speech and language pathology applications. Most reported uses were in developed countries. In all but one case, Skype was reported by the authors to be feasible and to have benefit. However, while Skype may be a pragmatic approach to providing telemedicine services, in the absence of formal studies, the clinical and economic benefits remain unclear.
Keyword Telemedicine
Telehealth
Developing countries
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes In Press

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Centre for Online Health Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 07 Jul 2015, 22:09:19 EST by Burke, Eliza on behalf of Centre for On-Line Health