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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

A National Web Conference on Using Health IT To Improve Outcomes in Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Populations

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

A National Web Conference on Using Health IT To Improve Outcomes in Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Populations
Date: June 3, 2013
Time: 10:30a.m-12:00 p.m., PST

Overall Purpose:
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has identified a gap in health care and public health practitioners’ knowledge of health IT using multiple mechanisms, including the findings of the continuing education (CE) planning group. This series of Webinars is designed to increase practitioners’ ability to improve health care decisionmaking, support patient-centered care, and improve the quality and safety of care through the use of health IT. Health IT can enhance self-management and quality of life for patients within traditionally vulnerable or disadvantaged populations. This session will review the methodology and implementation of interventions that improve the health and well-being of three groups: diabetes patients of a publicly funded clinic, minority low-income pediatric patients, and people with intellectual disability (ID).

Confirmed Speakers:

Margaret Handley, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor, University of California, San Francisco

Melissa Stockwell, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Population and Family Health, Columbia University

James Rimmer, Ph.D., Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Angela Nunley, M.S.Ed., Program Analyst, AHRQ

To Register:
1. Go to:
2. Select “Register.”
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then select “Submit.”

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the event.

For assistance: Contact Jennifer Webb by email at or by phone at (919) 541-6746.

WISER for Android 2.0 Now Available from NLM

Friday, May 17th, 2013

The National Library of Medcine’s WISER for Android 2.0 is now available and can be installed directly from the Google Play Store: What’s new in this release:

WISER now fully integrates content from the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Managment (CHEMM) website –


Global Health Data Exchange Data Visualizations Released

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Today the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) released several online tools to help users explore the wealth of health data found in their  Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010.  IHME is a research institute at the University of Washington dedicated to independent and rigorous measurement and evaluation of global health data, with the goal of improving overall health by providing policymakers with data to improve decision making.  This study, (more…)

NLM’s DIMRC Apps and Mobile Web Pages

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
The National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center webpage of Disaster Apps and Mobile Web Pages was redesigned using responsive web design, which provides an optimal view across a range of devices – PC, tablet or smartphone. The content on the page automatically resizes and adjusts its content to fit the user’s device. NLM also used responsive design for its Gallery of Mobile Apps and Sites page.
NLM Gallery of Mobile Apps:

iPadxtravaganza: The Great PNR iPad Collaborative Learning Project

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The iPad, a tablet computer produced by Apple, in the few years since its introduction to the market in 2010 has become not only an incredibly popular device generally, but has also become established within the medical community.  Providers use iPads for charting, to share information with patients and medical librarians use iPads while rounding with teams to perform literature searches.  With this information in mind (not to mention the utility of carrying an iPad to conferences and meetings!) the NN/LM PNR would like to provide a cohort of network members with iPads to integrate the device into their professional work and explore this technology together. (more…)

Regulation of medical mobile apps

Monday, January 7th, 2013

What constitutes a medical app? Does anyone keep an eye out as to whether a medical app lives up to what it claims to do or ensure that it does not endanger users?  Should anyone?

Oversight of mobile apps, in general, varies by platform.  Historically, Apple’s app store is a much more regulated marketplace with each app being reviewed by Apple and required to meet certain standards before being allowed to enter the store.  Google takes a more laissez faire approach to their Android Play store, though in August of this past year they did add some guidelines for developers to follow.  But for both companies, their app development rules do not provide oversight over quality of content.   While for some categories of apps this may not matter much, for apps that bill themselves as “medical,” for use either by healthcare providers or consumers to make decisions related to health, lack of content oversight may be worth considering.

Over the last couple of months there has been quite a bit of discussion over whether or not medical apps should be regulated and who, if anyone, should do that regulation.  Often this debate splinters between whether or not apps developed for consumers versus those for professionals should be treated differently – the logic here being that consumers may need more protection as providers should be able to evaluate the quality of an app on their own.  Some might recall in 2011 when the FTC brought a settlement against two different developers of apps that claimed to be able to cure acne that were being sold in both Google and Apple’s app stores.

While the FTC was the organization responsible for bringing that particular settlement against those particular apps that were built around unsubstantiated claims, the FDA is mentioned most often as the body best suited to provide this type of oversight, as they already regulate medical devices.  Currently, the FDA does provide regulatory oversight to a subset of mobile medical apps – those that are in some way “an extension” of a medical device or effectively transform a mobile device into a medical device.  An example of an app that falls into this category that received FDA approval last month was an ECG monitor that works with an iPhone.

Last July NPR spoke with a representative from the FDA who indicated they did not plan on reviewing most medical or health related apps beyond those described above.  Some developers of apps are nervous that this stance could change or that the line between an app that acts enough like a medical device versus a regular old app could blur.  Recently, United States Representative Mike Honda introduced a bill in the House, The Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act (HIMTA).  Amongst other aspects of the bill, it proposes to establish an Office of Wireless Health within the FDA that would be responsible for providing recommendations on “how to develop and maintain consistent, reasonable and predictable regulatory framework on wireless health issues.”  In 2013 we will continue to see development in this area of regulation as this bill makes its way through Congress.