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.


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


Older readers embrace e-readers

It’s always interesting to watch the state-of-the-art, bleeding edge technology become a standard.  One way to tell when a technology is approaching that state: we start to observe it in the hands of older people who haven’t been “early adopters.”

A couple of retired physicians now call on me to email them articles from the latest journals.  The technology has been around a while, but it seems that  high-capacity personal email boxes and high-quality personal printers are now more readily available and easy to use.

And my mom is learning advanced Google techniques at her public library; high-speed access, sophisticated searching, and reliance on the Internet for daily information needs are also getting to be standard in many homes.

An article in the Omaha World-Herald suggests that another technology is becoming widely accepted: the tablet-type e-reader.  Older Readers Kindle Fondness for E-Readers reports that larger type size, easy-on-the-eyes backgrounds, convenient downloads and ease of use are making e-readers popular among seniors.

It will be interesting to see how this technology affects library services.



eReaders explained

For a clear explanation of why your Kindle won’t read an Overdrive eBook, check out  Jason Griffey’s Pattern Recognition post eBooks, filetype and DRM . Something to consider as we build our eBook collections.


Healthy computing

I work at a couple of reference desks where we share workstations, so they’re not quite customized to my personal characteristics. They’re mostly OK, but one is set up with the monitor too high, and I sometimes have neck pains from trying to find the right spot to read the screen with my progressive lenses. (That’s waaay beyond bifocals, for you young folks.)  And I’m writing this while slouching on the couch with my new laptop, so, time to review ergonomics again…

OSHA Ergonomic Solutions offers a checklist to help evaluate  problem areas, along with hazards and likely solutions for the problems identified.

Lenovo offers ergonomic guidelines for setting up and using workstations to promote healthy use at the Healthy Computing section of their website.

Another site,, focuses on  preventing repetitive stress injuries.

Thanks to: Worker’s Edge

Interested in more about ergonomics?  Try a search at MedlinePlus, to find links to ergonomics for construction work, using small hand tools, and even performing hysterectomies!

Visual search displays

Biomedicine on Display points us to  search-cube, a search engine powered by Google,, and Symmetri.  Results are displayed as a 3D cube, weighted toward images.  A search for “Michigan Health Sciences Library Association MHSLA” displays images from this and other blogs as well as the front pages of the MHSLA website and MHSLA blog.  It’s not comprehensive — the information seems to come from the first few pages of a Google search — but a creative way to look at results.

Science Roll brings another visual search display to our attention: Wikipedia Roll, a mashup that organizes results of a Wikipedia search into clusters of related information.  For example, a search for “medical library” offers the text of the Wikipedia article on the topic, a cluster of key elements, a cluster of associations, and a cluster called “see also”, with links to the National Library of Medicine, Fred Kilgour, and the Canadian Health Sciences Library Association, among others.  The clusters and results box can be moved around the screen, and clicking a link from the display (such as “National Library of Medicine”) performs a Wikipedia Roll search on that topic.

Online CE: Social Media

MLA’s Task Force on Social Networking Software is offering another free online series:  Dig Deeper with Social Media.  Starting Jan. 19, the series will offer a short week-long course each month on the topics of media sharing, web collaboration tools, wikis and blogs.  Find the courses and details such as technical requirements at  Dig Deeper with Social Media.  CE credit is available to MLA members only, according to the Task Force blog.