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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

MeSH On Demand

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

MeSH on Demand is a new tool announced in this month’s NLM Technical Bulletin and is available online for use: http://ii.nlm.nih.gov/Interactive/MeSHonDemand.shtml. This is one of the Natural Language Processing tools being developed in the Cognitive Science Branch of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, a division of the NLM. The on Demand tool analyzes chunks of text (up to 10000 characters) and identifies potentially related MeSH terms. From the MeSH on Demand page a user simply pastes in a piece of text, hits the “Find MeSH Terms” button, and a new page will be generated with suggested MeSH terms listed below the inputted text. According to the Technical Bulletin article, the tool will find “MeSH Headings, Publication Types, and Supplementary Concepts, but not Qualifiers (Subheadings).”

A disclaimer appears on the tool’s page that the results are generated via an automated, machine logic driven system which is meant to emulate human indexer thought. One can deduce from the disclaimer that we shouldn’t expect the underlying algorithms to understand all of the same textual nuances that a seasoned indexer would and it notes that “results will undoubtedly differ from any human-generated indexing.” This got me wondering though about how much the tool’s generated terms would differ from human-generated ones. To evaluate, I pasted in an abstract from an article on Computerized Provider Order Entry systems causing medication errors.  This was by no means meant as a methodical and thorough evaluation of MeSH on Demand.  Rather, this was simply meant to address personal curiosity and this particular article was selected using a “convenience sampling” technique (it was already open in a different tab).  This article had previously been indexed for MEDLINE with the following MeSH terms: (more…)

Free Webinar: Health Happens in Libraries: Technology Planning for eHealth

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Emily Hurst from NN/LM SCR, Vanessa Mason, and McCrae Parker will present in this Health Happens in Libraries webinar from OCLC tomorrow, May 28th at 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific.

As the intersection of digital technology and individual health management grows, patrons will turn to libraries to access digital resources and learn how to put technology to work for their health. A recent IMLS study showed that an estimated 37 percent of library computer users (28 million people) explore health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options. Join the Health Happens in Libraries team to learn how public libraries can leverage their technology infrastructure to better serve the health information needs of patrons. Participants will learn best practices and resources for eHealth technology planning for libraries of all sizes. Participants will also be introduced to strategies for communicating with community partners about their technology resources, and identifying ways to build eHealth services through collaboration.

Register here: http://webjunction.org/events/webjunction/technology-planning-for-ehealth.html

EHR usage update

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

We are now three years into the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare’s Meaningful Use EHR adoption incentive program. According to CMS’s website, as of March of this year, $14.8 billion in payments have been made to the over 470,000 providers and hospitals participating in the program. Those are some big numbers! But what about the people who are using the systems? Can we tell whether or not any of this is making a difference in quality of care? What about health care provider workflow or job satisfaction? (more…)

Classroom Activities and Lesson Plans for “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness”

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Division of Specialized Information Services K-12 Workgroup has released classroom activities and lesson plans to supplement the Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness website.  For grades 6-12, these classroom activities and lesson plans familiarize students to the health and medicine of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.  The activities and lesson plans are available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/resources/lesson-plans-list.html.

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Research data lost to the sands of time

Friday, December 20th, 2013

A study published online yesterday in Current Biology found that the availability of research study data diminishes with each passing year following study publication.  The authors, from the University of British Columbia, looked at 516 articles published between 1991 and 2011 and first attempted to locate the e-mail addresses of study authors and contact them.  For the e-mail addresses that led to successful contact with an author, they then asked for the study data.  When making their requests, they said that the data was needed for a reproducibility study.  In the discussion section, the authors noted that they may have had a higher success rate in receiving data if they had instead indicated the purpose was for an important medical or conservation project and offered co-auothorship in the resultant paper.

The researchers found that for every year that had passed since the paper’s publication date, the odds of finding an email address that led to contact with a study author decreased by 7% and that the odds of turning up the data reduced by 17% per year.  The authors report that while some of the data sets were truly lost others fell more into the category of “unavailable,” since they existed, but solely on inaccessible media (think Jaz disk).  These findings will not come as a shock to those who have worked in a research lab.  This publication does put some tangible numbers behind the underlying message of NYU Health Sciences Library’s excellent dramatic portrayal of an instance of inaccessible data.  The authors conclude by suggesting that a solution to this problem moving forward can be found in more journals requiring the deposit of data into a public archive upon publication.  I would also suggest that academic institutions can take a role by establishing policies supporting research data preservation alongside providing a data repository.

It is worth noting that the authors of this paper published their study data on Dryad.

An app to be aware of – Bugs & Drugs

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

An important mobile app review was posted on the site iMedicalApps yesterday.  The review of Epocrates’ new app “Bugs & Drugs,” though a bit longer than most of iMedicalApps review pieces is worth a read (here).   In this review, author Timothy Aungst, PharmD, judiciously points out the potential utility of this app billed as a “antimicrobial susceptibility reference” intended to aid clinicians in selecting antibiotics by identifying localized bacterial resistance patterns. (more…)