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Archive for the ‘Mobile Devices’ Category

Seven iPad Keyboard Tricks

Dan Miller, editor of, recently posted a video illustrating seven keyboard tricks that are helpful for every iPad user. A complete transcript and video link are featured in this article. The seven tips are summarized below. Tips 1 and 3-6 also work on the iPhone.

  1. Tap-and-hold for special characters. Tapping and holding on any vowel key and several consonants results in a pop-up to select variations on those characters, including accents and circumflexes. This is particularly useful for typing in languages other than English. Similarly, tapping and holding on several keys on the numeric keyboard accesses other special characters. For example, tap-and-hold on the dollar sign to see a variety of currency symbols.
  2. Swipe up on some keys to insert special characters. For example, swipe up on the dollar sign to get the cents symbol.
  3. Double-tap on the space bar at the end of a sentence to automatically insert a period and a space. Then begin the next sentence.
  4. In Safari, to get to a site that has a top-level domain other than .com, tap-and-hold on the .COM key to see a pop-up to select .ORG, .EDU, and other domains.
  5. Similarly, in Mail, to add a top-level domain at the end of an email address, tap-and-hold on the period; then select the top-level domain desired.
  6. To insert a number or punctuation mark after typing a string of letters, open the numeric keyboard and slide your finger to the number desired. Then release the finger to return to the alpha keyboard.
  7. Lastly, there’s the feature to split the keyboard and undock it. Tap-and-hold on the keyboard button in the lower right, and select “Undock.” Then slide the keyboard up and down to different positions on the screen. By tapping and holding the keyboard button and selecting “Split,” the keyboard will split in two. This is very handy when holding the iPad with two hands and typing with the thumbs.

New Release of WISER for iPhone/iPod Touch Now Available!

Version 2.0 for WISER for iPhone/iPod touch is now available for downloading directly from the Apple App Store. The release includes the following two new highly requested features:

  • The full implementation of WISER’s Help Identify Chemical capability is now available on the iOS platform, allowing a user to identify a chemical using physical properties of the substance, signs and symptoms of victims of exposure, categorization of the substance, hazard values from NFPA 704 placards, and identification of transportation containers. For the first time, users can now save a help identify search for later recall and freely search the result list using any supported identifier.
  • Use WISER’s protective distance mapping feature on your iPhone or iPod touch. Visualize the areas likely to be affected during the first 30 minutes after a substance is spilled or released, on a live map. The Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook is the source of WISER’s protective distance data.

Reviews are always appreciated. If you have feedback about the latest WISER enhancements, please consider leaving a comment on the App store!

The latest release of WebWISER has been updated to include protective distance mapping, providing the ability to overlay the protective distance data for a WISER substance on an interactive map.

The following WISER developments are expected in the coming months:

  • Universal iOS (iPad) support
  • WISER for Android 2.0, which adds Help Identify Chemical and protective distance mapping to this popular platform

NLM’s 175th Anniversary: Reflections from the Director

U.S. Medicine is a publication serving healthcare professionals working in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service. It provides a mix of news, medical updates, interviews, reports on special government topics and monthly columns. In the recently published special issue, This Year in Federal Medicine – Outlook 2012, National Library of Medicine Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, took the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate NLM’s 175 years of public service, and to look ahead to 2012 and beyond. He began by reviewing the enormous amount of electronic information generated through resources such as PubMed and MedlinePlus. He also acknowledged the role of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in promoting access to health information throughout the U.S., and the support and training that NLM provides in the areas of biomedical informatics and health information technology. Dr. Lindberg also addressed the emerging opportunities to link NLM’s health information resources with electronic health records. Even though Dr. Lindberg expects budgetary challenges for NLM in 2012 and beyond, his outlook for the future remains very positive, as he envisions that NLM’s range of services will continue to expand into new areas of biomedical research and health care.

Specific themes mentioned by Dr. Lindberg in his future outlook include the continuing growth of NLM resources, such as PubMed/MEDLINE, PubMed Central, and In addition, several new NLM resources will be released in 2012, including a Genetic Testing Registry and a database of clinical significant human genetic variants. Dr. Lindberg also expects the continued development of NLM resources related to disaster preparedness, and he noted the recent deployment of these resources in events such as the Gulf Oil Spill, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Dr. Lindberg also expects that NLM will continue to utilize and expand the range of social media tools, mobile applications, and mobile versions of its resources to reach new and diverse audiences with high quality health information. He mentioned the impressive array of social media currently used by NLM, including 13 Twitter feeds, notably @medlineplus and the Spanish-language version @medlineplusesp, six Facebook pages and a new YouTube channel. The full text of Dr. Lindberg’s remarks is available on the U.S. Medicine web site.

Mobile TOXNET Now Available!

You can now access the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) TOXNET system with any mobile device! The launching of Mobile TOXNET provides an easy to use, mobile-optimized Web interface to the TOXNET databases; covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and related areas.

Image of Mobile TOXNET

Privacy and Security Mobile Device Good Practices Project Launched

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Office of the Chief Privacy Officer (OCPO), recently launched a Privacy & Security Mobile Device project, in conjunction with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The project goal is to develop an effective and practical way to bring awareness and understanding to those in the clinical sector to help them better secure and protect health information while using mobile devices (e.g., laptops, tablets, and smartphones). Building on the existing HHS HIPAA Security Rule – Remote Use Guidance, the project is designed to identify privacy and security good practices for mobile devices. Identified good practices and use cases will be communicated in plain, practical, and easy to understand language for health care providers, professionals, and other entities.

HHS will be looking for input. There will be a public roundtable event in Spring 2012. Information about other HHS mHealth activities is available on the mHealth Initiative web site.

New REMM Version (1.5.0) Released Today!

REMM (Radiation Emergency Medical Management) has released major new versions of the REMM website and Mobile REMM app. The Mobile REMM app is available for the iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile. It is strongly suggested that any previous versions are updated to REMM 1.5.0.

What’s new on REMM 1.5.0?

NCI Launches Smoking Cessation Support for Teens

Image of iPhone with quit smoking text messages displayed.A new effort to help teens quit smoking will use one of today’s teen’s most constant companions — the mobile phone. Developed by smoking cessation experts, SmokefreeTXT is a free text message cessation service that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to teens trying to quit smoking. The initiative is led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Once they sign up, teens receive text messages timed according to their selected quit date. Following their quit date, they will continue receiving texts for up to six weeks — a critical piece of the SmokefreeTXT service, as research shows that cessation support continues to be important beyond the first few weeks of quitting. Teens can sign up online at or text QUIT to iQUIT (47848).

Nearly 20 percent of teens are current smokers, and most will continue smoking into adulthood unless efforts are made to help them quit now. Many teens want to quit, but few use evidence-based cessation resources to support their quit attempts. By connecting with teen smokers on their mobile phones, NCI hopes to more effectively engage young people in quitting with proven cessation tools and strategies.

SmokefreeTXT is one of the core features of the new Smokefree Teen initiative, an extension of NCI’s smoking cessation website, Along with SmokefreeTXT, Smokefree Teen offers several social media pages to connect teens with cessation tools. In January 2012, Smokefree Teen will launch a free smartphone application, QuitSTART — an interactive quit guide for teens that delivers cessation and mood management tips, tracks cravings, and monitors quit attempts.

To learn more about Smokefree Teen and SmokefreeTXT, visit

PubMed for Handhelds Icon

After it was announced in NN/LM PSR NewsBits  about a year ago, more than 90 libraries worldwide requested library-specific URLs for PubMed for Handhelds (PubMed4Hh). With the availability of smartphones growing rapidly, the PubMed for Handhelds team attempted to create an App for iOS devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod) but ran into some difficulty because of the many pre- and post-search algorithms in PubMed4Hh and also because of library-specific links.

We thought that the next best thing would be to add an icon to the Home screen and Dock to make it work like an App (a Web App). Instructions on how to add a PubMed4Hh icon to iOS devices are here. The URL above is also visible in PubMed4Hh’s index page (; or short URL to iOS and mobile devices but will not display in desktop and laptop browsers.

For Android devices, it is just a matter of adding a bookmark. NLM is currently creating specific instructions for Android devices that will be posted soon.

I hope this information will be useful for NN/LM librarians and their patrons.

from the PubMed for Handhelds team

ONC Seeks Consumer Opinions on Using Mobile Devices to Communicate Health Information

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Office of the Chief Privacy Officer plans to perform a project using a qualitative data collection approach to obtain in-depth information from mHealth users regarding privacy and security concerns with this technology and perspectives on potential safeguards. mHealth refers to the use of mobile devices to communicate health information, and includes text messaging, email accessibility on the device, Skype, or the use of applications downloaded to the device.

A series of focus groups will be held in a variety of geographic regions to look at the attitudes and perspectives of individuals across different populations. For more information on this and other mHealth initiatives at HHS, please visit, under “Privacy/Security Research.” For more information, or contact Joy Pritts, JD.

2012 Go Viral to Improve Health Challenge

2012 Go Viral to Improve Health Challenge PosterBased on the success of last spring’s event, the IOM and NAE are sponsoring the 2nd annual Go Viral to Improve Health: Health Data Collegiate Challenge. Working in interdisciplinary teams that meld technological skills with health knowledge, college students can generate powerful apps to improve health for individuals and communities. A video of last year’s first-place winners presenting their app, Sleep Bot, at the 2011 Health Data Initiative Forum is available online.

IOM and NAE need your help in reaching out to students about the challenge. Information about eligibility, judging criteria, and registration is available on the IOM website and Facebook page. A downloadable and printable flyer is available to help spread the message about this year’s student challenge. You are encouraged to help get the word out by “liking” the Go Viral to Improve Health Facebook page and forwarding information about the challenge to faculty and students who may be interested in participating. This year, a total of $10,000 in prizes will be available to the student teams who develop the best new health apps. Team registration is open until February 10, 2012.

To help teams get started, the National Library of Medicine provides API (Application Programming Interface), a set of routines that an application uses to request and carry out lower-level services performed by a computer’s operating system, for many of its resources and databases. The NLM Show Off Your Apps challenge utilized NLM API to create to create innovative software applications that use the Library’s vast collection of biomedical data, including downloadable data sets, application programming interfaces (APIs).