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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy’ Category

A Second Life for Wearable Activity Trackers

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

[Guest post by Lisa Gualtieri]

I was given a Fitbit and, in tiny print on the package insert, it said to recycle responsibly. It turns out that there is really no way to do that – even wine corks can be recycled but not wearables. My exploration of this led me in many directions, including The Product Stewardship Institute and the complicated recycling websites of many cities and towns. My conclusion to date is that most wearables are thrown in a drawer. As a researcher, I wanted to learn more so I have a survey at http://goo.gl/forms/AyftXiB7N6  which I would be most grateful if you take and pass along to friends and colleagues. The incentive is a drawing for an Apple Watch.

The other side of this research is that I am curious how wearables can help people who want or need to increase their fitness but don’t know about them or can’t afford them. I have pilots planned with the YMCA of Central MA in Fitchburg and I hope to either receive a donation of wearables for the pilot or use reburbished ones we collect as part of http://RecycleHealth.com.

The survey is a helpful way of learning about feasibility of this!

I want to conclude by saying that one of invitations I most enjoyed was to present a keynote on The Future of Consumer Health to the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association in Richmond in 2011. I love this picture of “Girls with Pearls” – my pearls were a loan for the picture. Would “Women with Wearables” have the same charm?

Girls with Pearls

Guest post by:
Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM
Assistant Professor
Tufts University School of Medicine
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Email: lisa.gualtieri@tufts.edu

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lisagualtieri
Blog on health: http://lisagualtieri.com

Certificate in Digital Health Communication

7th Tufts Summer Institute on Digital Strategies for Health Communication offered July 19-24, 2015

Community Engagement with NLM Resources

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

If you are going to MLA in Texas, we hope you will come to the NLM Theater (in the exhibit hall) for the presentation on Community Engagement with National Library of Medicine Resources.  Michelle is co-presenting with Brenda Linares from UNC Chapel Hill.

We would love to have librarians attend who have led health information outreach projects.  We’ll have time for discussion and interaction during the presentation.  Hope you can join us!

Times:  Sunday, May 17th from 1-1:20 PM and on Tuesday, May 19th  from 12 – 12:20 PM

Hope to see you there!

Michelle Eberle, Health Literacy Coordinator
NN/LM NER

MedlinePlus Releases Responsive Design Site

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

[NLM Press Release]

Today, MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov/) and MedlinePlus en español (http://medlineplus.gov/spanish) released a completely redesigned site with a fresh look and feel.

The new version of MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español uses responsive design for ease of use on any device, whether that is a desktop monitor or mobile touchscreen.  Responsive pages automatically change their layout to fit your screen.  See our announcement page for more details.

Because this latest release enables all users to access a layout of MedlinePlus.gov optimized for their device, there is no longer a need for the separate mobile (m.medlineplus.gov) sites.  These sites are now retired; visitors to them will be redirected to the new version of MedlinePlus.gov.

We invite you to try out MedlinePlus’s full responsive design on your smartphone, tablet or desktop at http://medlineplus.gov/ and http://medlineplus.gov/spanish .  Take a tour of the redesigned site at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tour/tour.html (also available in Spanish).  Please send us your feedback and comments about the new design via the Contact Us link that appears on every MedlinePlus page.

 

Improving the Health Experience

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

The HxRefactored Conference brings together designers, health care providers, public health professionals, and others interested in the intersection of design and technology for a cross-disciplinary exploration of ways to improve the health experience. On April 1st and 2nd, I attended the conference in Boston, Massachusetts sponsored by MadPow and Health 2.0

The conference was jam-packed with inspiring presentations on topics including human centered design/usability, technology, health literacy/equity, mindfulness/stress reduction, behavior change, patient activism, electronic health records and organizational design.  Presenters shared ways to use design and technology to improve the health experience.  I hope you find these summaries of keynote presentations food for thought on creative ways to improve the health experience.

Keynotes ~ April 1, 2015

John Brownstein, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Computational Epidemiology Group at Children’s Hospital, explored the intersection of data and design for disease prevention in his keynote.  He asked, “How do we make everyone a stakeholder in public health?”  He shared real time detection of public health issues through social media platforms like HealthMap; StreetRx; and MEDWATCHER.  He also discussed new technology like iThermometer, a wearable thermometer that alerts parents of their child’s fever on their smartphone.   His presentation made me think about ways librarians can get involved with the development of social media platforms and new technologies to support public health.

Darshan Mehta, from MGH’s Benson-Henry Institute for Mind and Body Medicine, discussed how to build resiliency with an introduction to the relaxation response.  I’ve been practicing meditation since high school.  I enjoyed his guided relaxation.  It was a nice way to start the first day of the conference.  Mehta spoke about how meditation increases the cortical thickness and can change gene expression.  According to Mehta, mind/body practices reduce the frequency of medical symptoms, decrease the severity of psychiatric symptoms, and increase healthy lifestyles.  This presentation may inspire me to initiate a weekly mindfulness meditation group here at UMassMed School.

Keynotes ~ April 2, 2015

Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think and Rocket Surgery Made Easy, kicked off day two of the conference.  He only had twenty minutes but led a DIY (do-it-yourself) usability testing example with a volunteer from the audience.  His recommended DIY testing, preferably once a month on the same day – and stick to it!  Also, make it a spectator sport and have as many people as possible come watch.  Then, more people on your staff gain skill in usability testing.  For more information, check out his site, Advanced Common Sense

 Deborah Estrin, Professor of Computer Science  from Cornell NYC Tech, presented on small data.  She talked about using mHealth and small health to create data driven feedback loops of health.  She urged us to invest in interoperable and iterative approaches to benefit from reuse of tools and techniques.  She asked us: “How can we help create resources to help patients answer the question: are you feeling better?”  For examples of such resources, she mentioned Paragon Measure (turning mobile device use into actionable insights) and Ginger.io (using smartphones to improve mental health care).  She wrapped up by urging attendees to create an ecosystem around small data.

John Halamka, Chief Information Officer at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network, spoke about what’s new in HealthIT in 2015.  I’m sure many of you remember his excellent presentation at the NAHSL Annual Conference.  He discussed the federal interoperability roadmap, meaningful use stage 3, new mobile devices, private security challenges and the return to private sector innovation.  I was pleased to hear him mention National Library of Medicine’s free access to vocabulary standards for interoperability.  I was tweeting during the conference and my tweet with the link to NLM’s free APIs (application programming interfaces) was my most retweeted and favorited tweet of the conference.  Interested to learn more?  Check out how the NLM APIs can be used to support electronic health record certification and meaningful use.

Geoff Williams, of the University of Rochester Healthy Living Center Motivation Research Group, spoke about self-determination theory and how people change. He asked,”Does it come from the inside or outside?”  He told us about the psychological needs to support optimal health such as autonomy, competence, and feeling connected to others.

Jared Spool, author of Web Anatomy and Web Site Usability, declared design, “the rendering of intent.”  He asked: “What is the experience we want them to have?  Are we designing activities or experiences?”  He discussed a design process for the design experience and the importance of facilitated leadership.   According to Spool, “The best design teams worship inclusiveness.”

Julian Treasure, Master of Sound and author of Sound Business, was one of my favorite HxR presenters.  He told us the noise is the number one complaint in the hospital experience, the number one problem with productivity in the workplace, and that elevated noise leads to worse health.  He recommended improving acoustics, reducing noises, and designing soundscapes. He shared acronyms to help us learn to listen better and speak powerfully.  He wrapped up with a vocal toolbox activity.  If you are curious to learn more, listen to his TedTalk.

The HxR conference was full of creative and practical ways to improve the health experience. I left inspired to bring what I learned back to our network.  I learned about some amazing presenters that we might be able to host for regional conferences and webinars. I found it an insightful, useful conference and highly recommend it.  Stay tuned for my next blog post about what I learned at the breakout sessions.

Thanks MadPow and Health2.0 for a great conference!

 

 

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