Medical Apps

Flickr photo by Jason Meredith (merfam)So, Ebscohost has an app. So does VisualDx. FirstConsult has an app, but MD Consult has a mobile web version. 

I’m just trying to make sense of this, so I can sound like I know what I’m talking about as I roll this mobile stuff out to my customers.  So far, not working!

But here’s a blog that might help: iMedicalApps.  The site bills itself as “mobile medical app reviews and commentary by medical professionals.” 

iMedicalApps features sometimes lengthy reviews, including pricing information where applicable. You can choose a device type (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) or filter by medical specialty, though the filter isn’t working on my older version of Internet Explorer. 

Some of my favorite articles are those listing “top apps” for various constituencies such as “internal medicine residents” or “medical students on clinical rotation.” 

iMedicalApps also presents relevant news stories, such as the “Mobile Medical News Roundup,” and reports on recent clinical studies, like “Hospital hand washing compliance improved using a mobile app.

Patient Handouts

David Rothman is developing a Patient Handout Search utilizing Google Custom Search Engine.  The simple design should be easy to use on mobile devices such as tablet PCs.

Printable handouts are culled from free authoritative sources such as UpToDate Patient Handouts, MedlinePlus, Mayo Clinic, Kidshealth.org, and InteliHealth. There are buttons for selecting Spanish language, seniors, low literacy, pediatrics, and large print. Additional languages may be added later.

Thinking critically about “the evidence”

As a medical librarian, I spend a lot of time with reports of the evidence — studies, guidelines, systematic reviews — upon which evidence-based practice stands.

Recent postings in Dr. Marya Zilberberg’s Healthcare, etc. highlight the need for critical analysis of “evidence-based guidelines” and the studies from which they are built, particularly as the guidelines become the basis for current practice, reimbursement, and our judgment of what constitutes “good medicine.”

Facebook: how does it fit in your professional life?

As a hospital librarian, I work in an environment where Facebook and other social media tools are blocked by an Internet filter. I have a personal account, but I’ve never considered it as an outreach tool, though my parent organization (a health system) has a corporate Facebook presence.

So I found Hilary Davis’ article reflecting on the pros and cons of a professional Facebook presence very thought-provoking.  Reconsidering Facebook (at In the Library with a Lead Pipe) discusses the issues of the personal-professional separation, privacy and data ownership concerns, the need to offer access and services where the patrons are, and the increasing business and corporate use of Facebook to reach out to customers.

Facebook is becoming “mainstream,”  a trend we’ll need to keep in view.

TED talks: Visualizing Medical Data

Visualizing the medical data explosinAnders Ynnerman, PhD, studies computer graphics and scientific visualization, with a particular interest in medical imaging.  His 16-minute presentation at TEDxGoteborg 2010 highlights new tools and developing medical technologies.

Anders Ynnerman: Visualizing the medical data explosion

 

NYU Health Sciences Library implements Twitter

Laika’s Blog summarizes an article from Medical Reference Services Quarterly detailing New York University Health Sciences Library’s implementation of Twitter, Facebook, and a library blog “to give users as many options as possible to keep current with library news, resources, and services.” The article includes a flowchart illustrating how information created in one of these sources flows to the others without duplicating effort.  A free companion program, CoTwitter, is also described; CoTwitter allows the workload of creating “tweets” to be shared among the staff.

Cuddy, Colleen , Graham, Jamie and Morton-Owens, Emily G. (2010) Implementing Twitter in a Health Sciences Library. Medical Reference Services Quarterly 29(4): 320 — 330
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02763869.2010.518915

The Google Connection

 Well, I’m geeked. 

I read in the December CCL Outlook  that Proquest and Ebsco have entered a relationship with Google Scholar that allows libraries to set up links from Google Scholar results page to the fulltext found in their databases.  The enduser uses the “Scholar preferences” link in the upper right corner of the Scholar search screen , searches for his or her library name(s) in the “Library Links” section in the middle of the page, and selects the resources available.  Save preferences, and it’s good to go. 

Looks like I have some behind-the-scenes work to do, to get this set up for my patrons; I found my Proquest but not my Ebsco databases.  I also found one of the statewide Gale subscriptions, which seems to work perfectly well.

I work in a tiny hospital library.  High-end link resolvers and meta-search engines aren’t in my budget; so any time I can link fulltext to search results on the cheap, I’m a happy camper. 

CCL Outlook also reports on a couple of free tutorials:

  • 20 things I learned about the web , an interactive ebook explaining concepts such as “what is a browser?”, Javascript, TCP/IP, and cloud computing. Requires a browser that can handle HTML5; that rules out my hospital PC!
  • Google Search Manual at the Google Tutor blog, providing “tutorials, tips and advice for Google users.
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