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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Low Cost Mapping Tools on NLM Community Health Maps Blog

Monday, May 11th, 2015

This is a guest post by Karen Vargas, Evaluation Specialist, Outreach Evaluation Resource Center, National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Have you ever wanted to be able to use mapping for your outreach needs, but thought that making maps would be too expensive, time-consuming, or just too difficult?   The National Library of Medicine has a blog called Community Health Maps: Information on Low Cost Mapping Tools for Community-based Organizations, with the goal of facilitating the use of geographic information system (GIS) mapping by providing information about low cost mapping tools, software reviews, best practices, and the experiences of those who have successfully implemented a mapping workflow as part of their work.  The blog is moderated by Kurt Menke, a certified GIS professional.

Here are some examples of the kinds of things you can find on the Community Health Maps blog:

  • A short guide for using iForm for field data collection. iForm is an app that can be used on iPads, iPhones and Android devices, and has a free version.  Using this app, you could go to different locations, gather data (for example, demographic information about attendance at your program), and view it in tabular or map format.
  • A description of a project using youth in the Philippines to collect data on the needs of their communities.  Technology + Youth = Change showed how a dozen donated phones helped 30 young adults survey and map information on access to water, electricity, jobs, and more.
  • A review of a pilot project done by the Seattle Indian Health Board’s Urban Indian Health Institute on noise pollution and health in the urban environment. One of the goals of the pilot project was to determine whether this kind of data collection and analysis would be feasible with other urban Indian health organizations, so they selected participants who had limited experience with data collection and GIS. The feedback suggested that the GIS software tools were very user-friendly and effective.

Lead poisoning risk graphic, CDC

Photo credit: Childhood Lead Poisoning Risk Analysis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from the CDC Map Gallery

NLM Releases TOXinvaders, a Mobile Game about Chemistry, the Environment and Health

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

The Division of Specialized Information Services of the National Library of Medicine launches TOXinvaders, an environmental health and toxicology game for iPhone and iPad, available from the Apple Store (


TOXinvaders supports middle school science concepts pertaining to chemistry, environment and health. It can serve as an engaging classroom or homework activity for middle and high school students, as well as an entertaining learning activity for gaming aficionados of all ages. In the classroom environment, TOXinvaders works best as a supplement to NLM Tox Town, Environmental Health Student Portal, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus Web sites. (more…)

Today: IOM Health Literacy and Consumer Facing Technology Workshop

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

The Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy is providing online access to view the workshop as it is being broadcast live regarding Health Literacy and Health Information Technology, today March 24, 2015 at The National Academy of Sciences. The topics include health literacy and the use of technology to inform health decision making, to share health information via technology, and giving examples of health literacy best practices as they apply to the use of technology for health decisions. The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m (Eastern time). Below is the link to watch live:
Health Literacy and Health Information Technology: A Workshop [Attend via Webcast or In-Person Meeting]
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
8:30 AM-5:30 PM (Eastern)

New Versions of MedlinePlus Mobile Sites Released

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Today, MedlinePlus released new versions of the MedlinePlus Mobile sites in English and Spanish. The mobile site URLs are and

Like the original versions of the mobile sites, the redesigned sites are optimized for mobile phones and tablets.  Unlike the original mobile sites that contained only a subset of the information available on MedlinePlus, the new sites have all of the content found on MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español.  They also have an improved design for easier use on mobile devices. (more…)

PNR Rendezvous for August 20 – RELM Project

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

RELM: Research and Evidence Literacy in Medicine presented by Ann Gleason and Sherry Dodson of the University of Washington Health Sciences Library.

August 20, 2014 at 1 PM Pacific (noon Alaska 2 PM Mountain)

Next Wednesday, August 20, Ann Gleason and Sherry Dodson will be speaking about the RELM: Research and Evidence Literacy in Medicine gaming project. Gaming as a means of delivering online education is gaining in popularity. Online games provide an engaging and enjoyable way of learning. Gaming is especially appropriate for case-based teaching, and provides a safe environment for experiential learning. With funding from the National Libraries of Medicine, the University of Washington (UW) Health Sciences Library and the UW School of Medicine partnered to create on interactive, self-paced online game encouraging players to employ the four steps in practicing evidence-based medicine (EBM). The intended audience for the game is practicing physicians, residents and medical students interested in furthering their skills in using EBM. Sherry and Ann will discuss the history of the project, results of our beta testing and lessons learned about creating games. We will also present a short demo of the game which is in the final stages of being developed.

To attend go to and login as a Guest, using your own name.  Once logged into the web meeting, a pop-up box allows you to put in your phone number and the program will call you. If this does not happen, just call the 800 number and use the participant code that appears in the Notes box on the screen.

If you are unable to tune in live, we invite you to view a recording of the webcast, posted to the Rendezvous website later.

As part of our Federal agency services regarding electronic and information technology resources being accessible to people with disabilities, closed captioning is available on this and future PNR Rendezvous webcasts.

PNR Rendezvous for July 23 – Salud Se Puede

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Salud Se Puede (Good Health Is Possible): Promotoras and Health Information Needs in the Latino Community presented by Seth Doyle of the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association and Cindy Olney of the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center.

July 23, 2014 at 1 PM Pacific (noon Alaska 2 PM Mountain)

Community Health Workers (CHWs) continue to gain national recognition as valuable, if not essential, members of the healthcare workforce.  According to a 2007 CHW Workforce Study conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), there were 86,000 CHWs in the United States in 2000, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this to be among the fastest growing occupations in the health care field.  CHWs go by many names, including outreach worker, peer health educator, and patient navigator.  In Spanish speaking communities CHWs are commonly referred to as promotores(as) de salud.  CHWs play a vital role in facilitating health care access, while addressing disparities and improving health outcomes.  Seth Doyle will provide a brief overview of the CHW model and review current examples of CHW practices and initiatives. (more…)