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Archive for the ‘Search Tools’ Category

New iPhone and iPod Touch app for WISER

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce that WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders), is now available as an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. WISER is also compatible with the iPad. Content and functionality of this application will be enhanced in the coming months and a WISER for Blackberry version is also coming soon.

WISER is a tool to assist emergency responders with hazardous material (hazmat) incidents. It provides a wide range of information on chemical, biological, and radiological agents, including substance identification, physical characteristics, human health and emergency medical treatment information, and containment and suppression assistance.

WISER is also available as a standalone application for Microsoft Windows PCs, Windows Mobile devices, Palm OS PDAs and via the Web as WebWISER. The WISER home page has additional information.

NRHA Quality and Clinical Conference handouts

Last week, I attended the National Rural Health Association Quality and Clinical Conference. The NRHA has made the handouts from the conference available at Topics include electronic health records, telemedicine, and models for rural health care.

The HIV/AIDS Atlas: a new resource from the National Minority Quality Forum

The HIV/AIDS Atlas is a new tool that allows health care professionals, policy makers, and the public to view county-level prevalence data in all 50 states, to see the impact HIV/AIDS is having on their local community. The atlas provides HIV/AIDS statistics by age, gender, and race/ethnicity, whenever the data is available. Users may also view data for their congressional and state legislative districts overlaid on top of the county-level data. Zip code-level data, currently available only for New York City, will eventually be provided for as many geographic areas as possible. Most of the statistics are based on 2006 data, with plans to incorporate 2007 data for all states in the next iteration of the atlas. To “Travel the Atlas” users simply register for a username and password. The registration process is free! After entering the atlas, use the navigation bar to the left of the map to select a state, county, U.S. congressional district, or state legislative district. Then in the upper right corner of the map, choose the desired prevalence rate and demographic you wish to view.

Comparison of Alpha/Bing/Squared

The Disrupted Library Technology Jester blog has published an excellent comparison of three new search services: Wolfram|Alpha, Microsoft’s Bing, and Google Squared; see Wolfram|Alpha and Google Squared are “fact retrieval” search engines whereas Bing is more like existing search engines that retrieve web links about a topic.

The post features an 8-minute long screencast that contrasts results from the three search engines. I recommend taking the time to watch the screencast; you will come away with a good understanding of the differences between the three services. Note the new service described at the end of the post that provides a way to conduct a search across all three engines.

Wolfram Alpha Computational Knowledge Engine

Wolfram|Alpha is a new service on the web that calls itself a “computational knowledge engine.” Ask Wolfram|Alpha a question, and it produces results by doing computations from its internal knowledge base. It does not search the web or return lists of links. The site includes many example queries, including those related to health and medicine, food and nutrition, and the life sciences. Examples of health-related queries include information about disease risk, mortality data, medical tests, drugs, and hospitals. Give it a try at

Add Other Services to Google Search

If you install the “Greasemonkey” Firefox plug-in, you can then install a useful script that will add a sidebar to Google search with search results from Youtube, Wikipedia, and You can download Greasemonkey from, and then install the Google sidebar script from I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks, and find it quite handy to have the extra search results on the sidebar! If you try it, add a comment and let us know what you think.