Journal of Mid-life Health

EDITORIAL
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 185--186

Webinar: A virtual reality in medical communication


Meeta Meeta, Vishal Tandon 
 Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Tanvir Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Meeta Meeta
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Tanvir Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana
India




How to cite this article:
Meeta M, Tandon V. Webinar: A virtual reality in medical communication.J Mid-life Health 2020;11:185-186


How to cite this URL:
Meeta M, Tandon V. Webinar: A virtual reality in medical communication. J Mid-life Health [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 25 ];11:185-186
Available from: https://www.jmidlifehealth.org/text.asp?2020/11/4/185/307574


Full Text



World Wide Web, a well-coined term, has caught the world literally in a web. This year, the corona pandemic and social distancing have compelled humanity to become technologically savvy, affecting all living spheres. Virtual medical communication is not new; the first virtual congress of general practice and family medicine was in Portugal from April to June 2008.[1] The meeting had symposiums, e-oral communications, e-posters, e-learning, discussion forums, and interactive sessions attended by more than 1600 family physicians from 65 countries. European Society of Cardiology Webinars, an online program in general cardiology, was launched in October 2011 (http://www.escardio.org/education/eLearning/webinars/general-cardiology/Pages/welcome.aspx). The question is, why did this trend not become popular?

Corona pandemic has catalyzed the virtual transformation in medical communication. The Indian Menopause Society conducted more than 150 webinars related to mid-life health over 8 months versus about 50 live Continuing Medical Education programs last year.

A webinar is a relevant tool for the exchange of knowledge by experts across geographical locations using shared virtual platforms in an individual's comfort zone. This year, the world, in general, has experienced the advantages of digital communication and a short learning curve has increased popularity. Technical features such as screen sharing, video, slides, chats, polls, virtual rooms for group work, and real-time feedback are easy to master, facilitating webinar-based learning. The buzz in web aesthetics and learning are “web etiquette,” “web conduct,” “web presentation,” “voice modulation,” and “virtual background.”

There is an upsurge of online “live and recorded medical” courses with demonstrations, polls, and appraisals. Software-based webinar tools provide chat functions, which allow participants to ask questions and have them answered in real time. The initial disappointment of canceling the medical conferences has been replaced with the enthusiasm of virtual congress. The expenses, travel, and time for the educator, participants, and the host are small. An interesting offshoot is the conduct of remote clinical trials as done by Lenze et al. in a double-blind, randomized, fully remote (contactless) for a study in COVID patients.[2]

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A 2019 meta-analysis and systematic literature review of 15 independent data sources indicated that webinars were positively associated with gains in knowledge and skills.[3] I believe the warmth, social interaction of live medical communication, cannot be replaced by virtual communication even with the savings of time and expense. The future is a hybrid approach to medical communication.

This issue carries topics on some aspects of breast disease, a review and commentary on menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer, emerging data on COVID-19, and others. Looking forward to a COVID-free 2021, New Year greetings and enjoy a virtual New Year's Eve with your loved ones.

References

1Green M. Are international medical conferences an outdated luxury the planet can't afford? Yes. BMJ 2008;336:1466.
2Lenze EJ, Mattar C, Zorumski CF, Stevens A, Schweiger J, Nicol GE, et al. Fluvoxamine vs placebo and clinical deterioration in outpatients with symptomatic COVID-19: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2020;324:2292-300.
3Gegenfurtner A, Ebner C. Webinars in higher education and professional training: A meta- analysis and systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Educational Research Review 28 (2019)100293.