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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Tox Town Updates the “Town” Neighborhood Scene

The National Library of Medicine’s Tox Town resource now has an updated Town neighborhood with a new photorealistic look. All of the location and chemical information is the same, but the new graphics allow users to better identify with real-life locations. The Town scene is now available in HTML5 so, in addition to computers, it can be accessed on a variety of personal electronic devices, including ipads, ipad minis, and tablets. Regardless of where you live, you will definitely want to visit the updated Town neighborhood and learn about possible environmental health risks in a typical town.

NLM Announces Pill Image Recognition Request for Information (RFI)

As part of its ongoing work to develop an infrastructure and tools for identifying prescription pills, the National Library of Medicine has announced a new Request for Information (RFI). This is NOT a solicitation for proposals, proposal abstracts, or quotations. The purpose of this RFI is to obtain knowledge and information for project planning purposes. The government will not award a contract on the basis of this notice, or otherwise pay for information solicited by it. Proprietary information should be clearly marked. The requested information is for planning and market research purposes only and will not be publicly released. This Request for Information (RFI) is a pilot for a forthcoming Pill Image Recognition Challenge for visually identifying pills. The Challenge has as its main objective the development and discovery of high-quality software that matches images of unknown prescription pills to images in the RxIMAGE database. The pilot will help ensure that the Challenge is successful.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Computational Photography Project for Pill Identification (C3PI) is developing infrastructure and tools for identifying prescription pills. The infrastructure includes NLM’s RxIMAGE database of freely available, high quality prescription pill images and associated pill data. One tool is the freely accessible RxIMAGE API (Application Programming Interface) for text-based search and retrieval of images and data from the RxIMAGE database.

NLM now seeks to expand the toolset to include smart phone apps to visually search for and retrieve pill images and data. A person will photograph an unknown prescription pill, possibly under poor lighting conditions, from an angle, or at low resolution. The app will return one or more RxIMAGE images and data that are most likely to match the photographed pill. Respondents to the RFI are asked to submit executable software that matches consumer images – photos of pills taken by cell phone digital cameras – with reference images obtained from images in the RxIMAGE database.

The start date for accepting responses to this RFI is April 6, 2015. The end date for accepting responses to this RFI is May 15, 2015. For full information about the RFI, visit the NLM News & Events and NLM Pill Image Recognition Pilot (PIR Pilot) websites.

NLM to Host “Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, and Data from the Digital Humanities”

On April 11-13, 2016, NLM will host the workshop Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, and Data from the Digital Humanities. The event will be funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), part of the NLM’s ongoing partnership with NEH, and held in cooperation with Virginia Tech, The Wellcome Library and The Wellcome Trust. Images and Texts in Medical History will involve presentations by leading scholars in digital humanities, who will demonstrate and discuss how emerging approaches to the analysis of texts and images can be used by scholars and librarians in the field of medical history. Images and Texts in Medical History will engage key issues in the history of medicine that have contemporary and future relevance including, but not limited to, the spread of disease, the rise of health professions, scientific research, health policy, and cultural definitions of health and disease.

Images and Texts in Medical History will be a unique public forum involving a hands-on instruction interdisciplinary workshop and sessions open to the public that will provide historians of medicine and interested others with an opportunity to learn about tools, methods, and texts in the digital humanities that can inform research, teaching, scholarship, and public policy. Participation in Images and Texts in Medical History will be free to workshop attendees and members of the public who wish to attend the open sessions, but registration will be required in order to manage space and related requirements. Registration details will be announced this summer.

New Edition of the “Women of Color Health Data Book” Available

The NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) has announced the publication of the Women of Color Health Data Book, 4th Edition. The Women of Color Health Information Collection presents data on race/ethnicity and disease. Through data, clues about how culture, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and geographic location contribute to the health status of women of color can be identified. In order to explore sex differences, scientists need data about the similarities and differences between women and men in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions.

Learn more about women of color and their unique health needs, and how the Women of Color Health Data Book, 4th Edition, can assist clinicians in providing person-centered care for diverse populations of women. Check out the pull-out Data Book collections on breast cancer and HIV/AIDS, and a podcast from the Academy of Women’s Health. Also visit ORWH Director Dr. Janine Clayton’s blog for a commentary introducing the Data Book. More information on women’s health is available from the the NLM Women’s Health Resources website.

National Library of Medicine Launches TOXinvaders Game!

The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched TOXinvaders, an environmental health and toxicology game for the iPhone and iPad. It is available from the Apple Store. TOXinvaders supports middle school science concepts pertaining to chemistry, the environment, and health. It can serve as an engaging classroom or homework activity for middle and high school students, as well as an entertaining learning activity for gaming aficionados of all ages. In the classroom environment, TOXinvaders works best as a supplement to NLM’s Tox Town, Environmental Health Student Portal, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus Web sites.

The game consists of four fast-paced levels, in which a launcher is used to annihilate toxic chemicals falling from the sky and earn protective shield points by capturing “good chemicals.” To move on to the next level, players must take a brief quiz about the chemicals. These dynamically generated tests provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about environmental health and toxicology from the game’s chemical information sheet and from NLM Web sites. Quiz questions and answers can also serve as a starting point for classroom discussions, as well as for Tox Town, TOXMAP, and Environmental Health Student Portal activities and experiments.

NN/LM Greater Midwest Region CE Symposium: Re-Forming Health Care

The NN/LM Greater Midwest Region has announced the availability of the recorded archive for the half-day symposium Re-forming Health Care: Changes that Impact Patients, Health Systems, and Librarians, held on March 12, 2015, in Chicago. Presentation slides from three speakers are available on the following topics: “Transitions in Health Care Delivery: Patient Communication in the New Era;” “The Affordable Care Act and the Need for Information;” and “Improving the Quality, Safety, and Cost-Effectiveness of Patient Care through Evidence-Based Practice at the Organizational Level.” Anyone who registers on the web site is eligible to receive 4 hours of MLA CE credit for listening to the three-hour program.

Community Health Status Indicators Website Launch

The CDC just released the updated Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI), an interactive online tool that provides public health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States. Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describes the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes, such as health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors, and the physical environment. First issued in 2000, CHSI 2015 represents the collaboration of public health partners in the public, non-profit and research communities. The re-designed online application includes updated peer county groups, health status indicators, a summary comparison page, and U.S. Census tract data and indicators for sub-populations (age groups, sex, and race/ethnicity) to identify potential health disparities. In this new version of CHSI, all indicators are benchmarked against those of peer counties, groups of counties that are similar to each other based on 19 variables, the median of all U.S. counties, and Healthy People 2020 targets. CHSI 2015 is designed to complement other available sources of community health indicators including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. Organizations conducting community health assessments can use CHSI data to:

  • Assess community health status and identify disparities;
  • Promote a shared understanding of the wide range of factors that can influence health; and
  • Mobilize multi-sector partnerships to work together to improve population health.

To promote awareness of the new tool, the CDC and the National Library of Medicine are co-hosting two sessions of a one-hour briefing that will provide an overview of the new features and redesign of CHSI. Registration is available for either March 24, 12-1:00 PM PDT, or March 26, 8-9:00 AM PDT. Once your registration request is approved, you will receive instructions for joining the meeting.

Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

As announced in the Federal Register, the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is now available. Individuals are encouraged to submit written comments to the federal government on the Advisory Report. Written comments will be accepted online through midnight EDT on April 8, 2015.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages individuals to eat a healthful diet — one that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent chronic disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly publish the Dietary Guidelines every 5 years. HHS and USDA will host a public oral comment meeting on March 24, 2015. Meeting registration is now open, and the meeting agenda is available. Please direct all media inquiries to ASHMedia@hhs.gov or call (202) 205-0143.

NLM Resource Update: ToxLearn Module II Now Available!

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) ToxLearn, Module II: Cells and Tissues: Injury and Repair is now available. It offers an introduction to biological molecules, cells, tissues, and organs, and to how they might be affected by toxicants. It also explains principles of cell damage and tissue repair and reviews physiological and morphological changes. Created in partnership with the Society of Toxicology, ToxLearn is a multi-module online learning tool that provides an introduction to basic principles of toxicology. It can be used as a supplementary curriculum to a first-level undergraduate toxicology course and can assist users in interpreting search retrieval from NLM’s TOXNET databases.

ToxLearn Module I: Introduction to Toxicology and Dose-Response, is also available. ToxLearn Modules 1 and 2 update some of the information in the earlier Tox Tutor.

PHPartners.org Website Redesign: Volunteers Needed for Usability Testing!

The National Library of Medicine is currently assessing and redesigning the Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce website. PHPartners is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries which provides timely, convenient access to selected public health resources on the Internet. To better serve and understand the needs of audiences, volunteers are being recruited for surveys and usability testing, involving participation in seven 15-30 minute sessions spread over a 12-16 month period. You are not required to participate in all seven sessions. Anyone interested in participating in the testing should complete an online form by March 5. Your feedback is invaluable to the improvement of the PHPartners.org website!