Clinical use of Skype: a review of the evidence base

J Telemed Telecare. 2012 Apr;18(3):125-7. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2012.SFT101. Epub 2012 Feb 23.


Skype is a popular and free software application that allows PCs and mobile devices to be used for video communication over the Internet. We reviewed the literature to determine whether the clinical use of Skype is supported by evidence. One small (n = 7) controlled clinical trial had assessed the effect of nursing communication using Skype on elderly patients with dementia and their carers. However, we were unable to identify any large, well-designed studies which had formally evaluated the safety, clinical effectiveness, security and privacy of Skype for the routine delivery of patient care. While there were many case reports and small studies, no firm evidence either in favour of, or against the use of Skype for clinical telehealth was found. The risks and benefits of using Skype for clinical purposes are not known.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Medicine / methods
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Software
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Videoconferencing*