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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

Registration Available for NTC Online Class “Discovering TOXNET” March 7 – April 6

Sign up now for the Spring session of Discovering Toxnet, a four-week online Moodle class conducted by the National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) March 7 through April 6. The course provides an introduction to TOXNET and other NLM environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises. The purpose of this class is to enhance familiarity with reliable environmental health and toxicology information from the National Library of Medicine and other reliable sources. Skills and knowledge acquired from this course will enable attendees to access, utilize and refer others to online environmental and toxicology information.

Forum on March 7: Using Data to Improve Clinical Patient Outcomes

On March 7 the NN/LM Pacific Northwest (PNR) and MidContinental (MCR) Regions are co-sponsoring a forum that will provide an overview of current and potential uses of patient data to improve patient safety, quality of care and evidence-based practice, Using Data to Improve Clinical Patient Outcomes. The event will be live streamed, linking presenters and participants in videoconference studios located at the University of Washington in Seattle and University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Librarian participants will have the opportunity to explore how they can contribute to the use of clinical data as evidence and what skills they can develop to support health care organizations in the use of data. Online or in-person attendance options are available. Registration is free, but required. The session will be archived, and a captioned recording will be made available within a few weeks of the event.

In preparation for this forum, both Regions are offering Data Curation / Management Journal Clubs, using both the MLA’s Discussion Group Program structure along with the new PubMed Commons Journal Clubs (PCJC) structure. Look forward to their analysis of recent data curation/management articles in the Plains to Peaks and Dragonfly newsletters!

February 2016 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration showing a clear line between tumor tissue and normal tissue. Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Technologies Enhance Tumor Surgery: Helping Surgeons Spot and Remove Cancer
    For surgeons, removing a tumor is a balancing act. Cut out too much and you risk removing healthy tissues that have important functions. Remove too little and you may leave behind cancer cells that could grow back into a tumor over time. NIH-funded researchers are developing new technologies to help surgeons determine exactly where tumors end and healthy tissue begins. Their ultimate goal is to make surgery for cancer patients safer and more effective.
  • Focusing on Fibromyalgia: A Puzzling and Painful Condition
    You’ve probably heard of fibromyalgia, but you may not know what it is. Fibromyalgia is a long-term (chronic) pain condition that affects 5 million or more Americans ages 18 and older. For unknown reasons, most people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women, although men and children also can be affected. People with certain disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may also have fibromyalgia, which can affect their disease course and treatment.
  • Infertility Treatments and Children’s Development
    A growing number of would-be parents are turning to infertility treatments to help them have a baby. A new study found no evidence that these treatments cause any developmental delays. The findings may offer some relief to parents concerned about the long-term health risks of infertility therapies.
  • Help for Rare and Undiagnosed Conditions
    Trying to get a diagnosis for a perplexing medical condition can be a long and frustrating process. For rare diseases, a diagnosis may take years. NIH’s Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center features information about thousands of rare diseases as well as resources to help with diagnoses and finding appropriate care.
  • Featured Website: NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
    Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and more. In the U.S., they’re used by half of all adults and a third of all children. This site offers reliable, evidence-based information about dietary supplements for health professionals and consumers in both English and Spanish.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

Selected Zika Virus Health Information Resources Compiled by NLM

For decades, the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus was mainly seen in equatorial regions of Africa and Asia, where it caused a mild, flu-like illness and rash in some people. About ten years ago, Zika outbreaks spread to the Pacific islands. Then, last spring, Zika appeared in South America, where it has so far infected more than 1 million Brazilians. A recent study published in The Lancet suggests that Zika virus could eventually reach regions of the United States in which 60% of the population resides. Humid, subtropical parts of the country might support the spread of Zika virus all year round, including southern Texas and Florida. With no vaccine or treatment currently available to prevent or treat Zika infection, the best way for individuals, and pregnant women in particular, to protect themselves is to avoid traveling to places where Zika is known to be present. If an individual has to live or work in such a region, the CDC recommends strict precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including wearing protective clothing, using insect repellants, and sleeping in rooms with window screens or air conditioning.

Following are selections from a list of resources gathered by the National Library of Medicine to assist public health departments, health care providers, librarians, and others seeking authoritative information on the virus and disease. In addition, Zika Virus and Zika Virus Infection are new terms included in NLM’s Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) vocabulary.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

World Health Organization (WHO)

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization

NLM Announces Pill Image Recognition Challenge

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced its Pill Image Recognition Challenge January 19, 2016 in the Federal Register. The Pill Image Recognition Challenge will also be posted on Challenge.gov. The submission period for the Challenge is April 4, 2016 to May 31, 2016, with winners announced August 1, 2016.

The Pill Image Recognition Challenge is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Challenge under the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-358). Through this Challenge the National Library of Medicine (NLM) seeks algorithms and software to match images of prescription oral solid-dose pharmaceutical medications (pills, including capsules and tablets). The objective of the Challenge is the development and discovery of high-quality algorithms and software that rank how well consumer images of prescription pills match reference images of pills in the authoritative NLM RxIMAGE database. NLM will use the Challenge entries (i.e., algorithm and software) to create a future API (Application Programming Interface) and a future software system for pill image recognition; the API will be freely accessible and the system will be freely usable.

For further details, visit the NLM News & Events page.

New AIDSinfo HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines App Released!

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced the release of a new AIDSinfo Treatment Guidelines app for both iOS and Android devices. The AIDSinfo Treatment Guidelines app provides mobile access to the HIV/AIDS medical practice guidelines developed by working groups of the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. The guidelines include recommendations by expert panels on the treatment of HIV infection and related opportunistic infections in adults, adolescents, and children and on the management of perinatal HIV infection.

Health care providers surveyed on the AIDSinfo website expect mobile access to up-to-date HIV information at the point of care even when an Internet connection is unavailable. Designed to meet that expectation, the app automatically refreshes guidelines content when the user is connected to a wireless or cellular data network. When wireless Internet access is not available, app users can view and search the guidelines offline, and the app will check for and download any updates when the user is back online and connected again.

Available for both iOS and Android devices, the free AIDSinfo Guidelines app includes several features to personalize the app to meet individual needs. Using these features, app users can:

  • View only guideline recommendations or tables
  • Receive alert notifications when a new guideline is released or guideline content is updated
  • Bookmark sections of a guideline
  • Add notes to sections of a guideline
  • Share guidelines and notes via social media, email, or text
  • Search for information within guidelines
  • Use the guideline spell suggest feature for searching when connected to wireless or using cellular data

The free Guidelines app may also be downloaded from the AIDSinfo website. NLM encourages feedback on this app and other features of AIDSinfo. Please email your comments and suggestions to ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov.

Resources for Aliso Canyon Natural Gas (Methane) Leak

Several local and state California agencies, as well as federal agencies, are responding to the natural gas leak at the Southern California Gas Company Aliso Canyon Facility that is affecting the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Los Angeles. The National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center (NLM Disaster Health) provides information on public health aspects of chemical incidents for the benefit of health professionals and volunteers who may be responding to an incident and for people living in or concerned about an affected region. The primary releases from the well are natural gas (methane) and odorants (tertiary butyl mercaptan and tetrahydrothiophene). The area is also being affected by “oily mist” containing assorted chemicals: benzene, toluene, ethylene, xylene, and other organics consistent with oil residues from the former oil drilling facility site. Air sampling has also noted radon and hydrogen sulfide.

A resource guide with a compilation of links on the gas leak and specific chemicals detected was prepared by NLM staff members Cindy Love, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, and Stacey Arnesen. Contributions from NN/LM PSR staff were made by Kelli Ham, Lori Tagawa, and Alan Carr. A PDF version of the guide is also available.

MedlinePlus Launches Facebook Pages!

Looking for the latest information on diseases, condition, and wellness issues? MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español have joined Facebook! Feel free to “Like” these new pages!

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health’s Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free. For any questions about MedlinePlus, including its social media accounts, please use the Contact Us link that appears at the top of every MedlinePlus page to send the MedlinePlus team a message.

HHS Video Prize Challenge: My Preparedness Story

The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response recently kicked off the My Preparedness Story: Staying Healthy and Resilient Video Challenge. The contest invites young people between the ages of 14 and 23 to submit a creative video, up to 60 seconds long and closed-captioned, showing how they help their families, friends, and community protect their health during disasters and every day. Completed videos should be uploaded to YouTube, and the link, along with a description and transcript of the video, should be provided through the “Submit Solutions” form. The entries will be evaluated by a panel of expert judges and the top entries will be posted on the web site for public voting. Submissions could be used to help others learn better ways to prepare their communities for disasters and emergencies, and contestants could win up to a $2,000 grand prize. Entries are due by March 28, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. PDT. Winners will be notified and announced no later than May 9.

January 2016 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of a woman having her blood pressure checked.Check out the January issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Blood Pressure Matters: Keep Hypertension in Check
    About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, but many don’t realize it. High blood pressure is sometimes called a “silent killer,” because it usually has no warning signs, yet it can lead to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke. The good news is that high blood pressure, or hypertension, can often be prevented or treated. Early diagnosis and simple, healthy changes can keep high blood pressure from seriously damaging your health.
  • Breastfeeding May Help Health After Gestational Diabetes
    A study suggests that breastfeeding may help women with a history of gestational diabetes from later developing type 2 diabetes. About 5-9% of pregnant women nationwide develop high blood sugar levels even though they didn’t have diabetes before pregnancy. This condition, called gestational diabetes, raises a woman’s risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can cause health problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.
  • Substance Abuse in Women
    It can be hard for anyone with a substance use disorder to quit. But women can face unique concerns. Scientists who study substance use have found special issues related to hormones, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause that can affect women’s struggles with drug use. Women themselves report using drugs for reasons such as controlling weight, fighting exhaustion, coping with pain, and self-treating mental health problems.
  • Featured Website: Health E-cards
    Make someone’s day with a motivational e-card from NIH’s Go4Life, an educational and physical activity campaign for older adults. Does your friend need encouragement to keep exercising? Think your neighbor would make a great workout buddy? Want to inspire your mom to get ready, get set, and get going? Try sending these free animated e-cards to your friends and family.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!