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Archive for the ‘E-Science’ Category

Low Cost Mapping Tools on NLM’s Community Health Maps Blog

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 main goal of the National Library of Medicine’s Community Health Maps: Information on Low Cost Mapping Tools for Community-based Organizations blog is 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 can 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.

NLM VSAC Publishes Annual Update for 2014 Clinical Quality Measure Value Sets

On May 1, 2015, The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), published the annual update for the 2014 electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) value sets for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals. Providers will use these updated eCQM value sets to electronically report 2016 quality data for CMS quality reporting programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Inpatient Quality Reporting Program (IQR), and the EHR Incentive Programs. CMS updates these electronic reporting specifications annually to improve alignment with current clinical guidelines and terminologies and to remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting.

The VSAC offers a Downloadable Resource Table, accessible from the Download tab on the VSAC Web page, that provides prepackaged downloads for the most recently updated and released eCQM value sets, as well as for previously released versions. Access to the VSAC requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License. NLM also provides the Data Element Catalog that identifies data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record (EHR) technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria.

The NLM update of the VSAC eCQM value sets coincides with the CMS posting of the annual update for the 2014 eCQMs for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals, available in the CMS eCQM Library. CMS has re-specified all of the 2015 updated measures using Quality Data Model (QDM) 4.1.2 based-HQMF version R 2.1. 2014 Clinical Quality Measure Resources.

The following resources are available to help health care providers and vendors navigate the 2014 eCQMs.

NLM and FDA Launch Public Access to Global Unique Device Identification Database

The FDA, in partnership with the National Library of Medicine, has announced that data submitted to FDA’s Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID) is now publicly available through a website called AccessGUDID. By using AccessGUDID, anyone can search or download information that device labelers have submitted to the GUDID about their medical devices. Because the UDI system is being phased in over the next several years, labelers are currently submitting data on only the highest risk medical devices, a small subset of marketed devices. But as the system is implemented according to the UDI compliance timeline, the records of all medical devices required to have a UDI will be included.

With the launch of this beta version of AccessGUDID, everyone is encouraged—health care systems, clinicians, patients, researchers, industry and others—to explore its contents, assess its functionality and provide feedback. This feedback will shape future enhancements, including advanced search and web services. To submit feedback, use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the AccessGUDID landing page or the FDA UDI Help Desk.

NLM Community Health Maps (CHM) Project: User Needs Survey

The National Library of Medicine needs your help reaching out to current and potential users of low-cost and easy-to-use online mapping tools (GIS). The Community Health Maps (CHM) project identifies and promotes tools that seek to meet the mapping needs of communities and community organizations such as clinics, schools, libraries, health departments, faith-based and community-based groups. These tools can be used to collect and visualize health statistics and local resources, to compare data across locations, and to explore trends. In order to improve CHM and better tailor it for the specific requirements of users, please share this GIS user needs survey!

NLM Toxicology & Environmental Health Information Update: TOXMAP and TRI Data

Both versions of TOXMAP, classic and beta, now include the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) 2013 National Analysis data, as well as recent cancer and disease mortality data from NCI SEER. This is the first version of the TOXMAP beta with health data, whereas mortality data in TOXMAP classic has been updated. To view national county-level cancer and disease mortality data from 2007-2011 in TOXMAP beta, bring up the US Census & Health Data window and navigate to the Mortality tab. Two sub-tabs list cancer and disease mortality layers that can be overlaid on the map (one at a time).

TOXMAP maps the TRI chemicals reported to the EPA, as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported to the EPA can be found on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program website.

NLM Honors Nobel Laureate Marshall Nirenberg Who Deciphered the Genetic Code

Fifty years ago, Marshall W. Nirenberg, PhD, deciphered the genetic code. It led to a Nobel Prize—the first for a scientist at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Nirenberg’s family recently donated his Nobel Prize medal to the National Library of Medicine to be added to the papers and other items that chronicle his contributions to science. NLM’s History of Medicine Division hosted the first of three events at NIH that will celebrate the legacy of Marshall Nirenberg, who died in 2010, and the fiftieth anniversary of his deciphering of the genetic code. Subsequent events will be announced by the NIH Office of Intramural Research.

A Tribute to Marshall Nirenberg was filled with personal stories from his wife; from a scientist in his lab; and from a historian who helped develop NLM’s Nirenberg collection. The event, held March 17, was recorded and can be viewed on demand. One of the most significant pieces in the Nirenberg collection is the chart that is the first summary of the genetic code. Dated January 18, 1965, when more than half of the code had been deciphered, the document, with curatorial notes provided by Serlin, was recently added to NLM’s Turning the Pages project, which is available online and as an iPad app. Dr. Nirenberg won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1968. He shared the award with Har Gobind Khorana of the University of Wisconsin and Robert W. Holley of the Salk Institute.

New NIH BD2K Funding Opportunity!

A new Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) funding opportunity is available, Supplements to Support Interoperability of NIH Funded Biomedical Data Repositories, with an April 20 application due date. NIH is accepting administrative supplement requests to support projects that will establish or improve interoperability among NIH funded biomedical data repositories. Improved interoperability is expected to lead to increased efficiency of repositories’ operations and cost reductions, which are significant factors of the NIH’s long-term sustainability plans for the biomedical data repositories. Each supplement request should be associated to a collaborative project consisting of a biomedical data repository supported by an active NIH-funded parent grant, and one or more collaborating sites that together implement the interoperability goals of this FOA. The collaborating sites may be other biomedical data repositories, or may provide computational tools and data standards, or perform other activities that facilitate interoperability among data repositories. Supplement requests will only be accepted from active NIH-funded parent grants that primarily support biomedical data repositories with an overall annual budget above $500,000 in direct costs.

Valentina di Francesca (NHGRI) will be organizing an administrative review panel for these supplements as a group. Administrative review is expected to occur in May 2015, and completed by August 24, 2015. Awards are expected to be made in August/September 2015.

Nucleic Acids Research Database 2015 Issue Features NCBI Databases

The 22nd annual edition of the Nucleic Acids Research Database Issue features nine free full-text papers from NCBI staff that present recent updates to the databases, including GenBank, Gene, and RefSeq. These papers describe the state of NCBI databases as well as future plans to improve their use, from new reference resources created to improve the usability of viral sequence data to in-house curation efforts in the Conserved Domain Database, and much more. The articles are all available from PubMed.

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Funding Announcements!

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched two more funding opportunities to support NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education for developing educational resources for information professionals.

  1. RFA-LM-15-001:

    This funding announcement seeks applications for the development of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that covers a comprehensive set of topics related to the management of biomedical Big Data. The primary audience for this course is librarians and information specialists, who could use these materials as the basis of training and services to graduate students, faculty, research staff and administrators at their organizations. However, the resource should also be usable by any of these audiences for self-instruction. The application due date is March 17, 2015.

  2. RFA-LM-15-002:

    This funding announcement seeks applications for the development of curriculum modules that can be used by librarians and other information specialists to prepare researchers, graduate students and research staff to be full participants in the global community that maintains and accesses digitally-stored biomedical Big Data. The application due date is March 17, 2015.

NLM Resource Update: ChemIDplus Drawing Feature

The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) ChemIDplus resource is a dictionary of over 400,000 chemicals (names, synonyms, and structures). It includes links to NLM and to other databases and resources, including ones to federal, state and international agencies. You can draw a chemical structure and search for similar substances using the ChemIDplus Advanced search interface. This feature also performs similarity and substructure searches. A four-minute tutorial is available for using the drawing feature of ChemIDplus. The ChemIDplus Lite interface is designed for simple searching on name or registry number.