Lab tests now on computers

Prevents loss of life of animals

Educational institutes and aspiring medical students can now conduct lab experiments on a software through computer software.

This first-of-its-kind software named ExPharma Pro has been introduced by Elsevier Health Sciences, India at the ongoing World Book Fair in Delhi. The software is priced at Rs 30,000 as an introductory offer for a year.

“Availability of animals for experimenting is decreasing per day and opposition by animal rights groups against animal cruelty while performing experiments in schools, universities and other educational institutions is a major concern. We devised this software to overcome these issues and have got approval from the Medical Council of India and the Pharmacy Council of India.

The matter is derived from the council's curriculum,” said Rohit Kumar, Managing Director, Elsevier, South Asia.  Kumar added that a University in Punjab is their first client. Doctors say they cannot do away with experimenting altogether as it is essential for medical students to understand how live tissues are affected or react to different drugs. 

“Conducting experiments on animals has become a controversial and costly affair. This software will help in ensuring safety of animals and the students will also not have to be worried about victimising animals, preventing loss of life,” said Vidhu Goel, director of Clinical Education and Reference Division, Elsevier.
The software gives you an option of simulating five essential experiments on four animals dog, rabbit, frog and a guinea pig. Students can select from the list of drugs and conduct their experiment. 
The application will present a graph in front of the students which will help them to analyse their results and record their observations. The teachers can judge if students are learning or not. The software automatically tests students based on their answers.
Dr Chaitanya Koduri, science policy advisor, PETA believes that non-animal methods are humane, cost effective and have proved to be better. “Using these methods instead of purchasing animals every year would save universities an enormous amount of money and would better equip our nation’s future doctors in performing their duties. These alternatives last longer even after repeated use and will be an asset for any organisation and future doctors in the long run,” he said. 
Naveen Gaur, physics professor with Dyal Singh College echoed similar views: “This is a good effort. We will spend less and create an advanced learning environment for students.”

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