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Archive for 2011

Search Auto-Complete Feature Added to NLM Main Web Site, MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en Español

In November 2011, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) released a search box auto-complete feature for the NLM main website, MedlinePlus, and MedlinePlus en español. Auto-complete improves the search experience on these sites by:

  • suggesting relevant terms and phrases as users begin typing;
  • helping users execute searches and arrive at a focused set of results more quickly;
  • guiding users to content that exists on the site;
  • providing accurate spellings to help users avoid misspellings; and
  • suggesting new lines of inquiry for users exploring a topic.

As a user types a query, a list of suggested terms and/or phrases displays dynamically beneath the search box. The suggested terms appear after three or more letters are entered into the box. The suggestions begin with or contain the word and/or phrase in the search query. Letters not yet typed appear in bold. As a user types more letters, the suggestions automatically update to reflect different terms or phrases. No more than five terms and/or phrases appear in the suggestion list for each query. A light gray bar highlights the suggestions as a cursor scrolls up or down the list. Users can also use the arrow keys on their keyboards to navigate through the list. Once a user clicks on the preferred term or phrase, the suggestion populates the search box, and the search engine executes the query. The auto-complete feature appears in search boxes across NLM main website, MedlinePlus, and MedlinePlus en español.

The auto-complete feature appears in search boxes throughout the MedlinePlus site.

Please read the NLM Technical Bulletin to read more about this new feature.

New NIH Brochure Educates Hispanics Suffering from the Symptoms of Serious Illness

NINR's Palliative Care Brochure Spanish CoverDealing with the symptoms of a serious illness is difficult. For the Hispanic population, language and cultural barriers can add to the burden, making it even harder to get relief. A new Spanish-language publication from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), a component of the National Institutes of Health, provides those in the Hispanic community with information about palliative care, a comprehensive treatment that reduces or eliminates pain and other distressing symptoms of illness and medical treatments. NINR developed the brochure to increase awareness of palliative care among Hispanic patient and caregiving populations, and care providers who serve Hispanic communities.

Both the English and the Spanish version of NINR’s palliative care brochure highlight what palliative care is, who it benefits, and how it works. They also address:

  • how to decide if someone needs palliative care
  • how to ask a health care provider for palliative care
  • how palliative care differs from hospice care
  • what kind of specialists participate on a palliative care team
  • insurance coverage for palliative care treatment

The palliative care brochures are available online for download and up to 25 complementary print copies can be requested. For more information about palliative care, please visit MedlinePlus or the NINR website.

New Issues of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine and NIH News in Health Now Available!

Fall 2011 NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine CoverThe Fall 2011 issue of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is now available online! The issue featuring Debra Winger, includes features on asthma, high blood pressure, seniors and chronic pain, preventing drug abuse and addiction, peripheral artery disease, and more!

NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is the free, trusted consumer guide to the vast array of authoritative online health and medical information at Published four times a year, the magazine showcases the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) latest medical research and healthcare information. The Friends of the National Library of Medicine (FNLM) is the support group for the world’s largest medical library and, with NIH, publishes NIH MedlinePlus — providing Americans with a gold standard of reliable up-to-date health information in a user-friendly format.

NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is available online in HTML and PDF format. Free print subscriptions are also available for US addresses.

Also, the November 2011 issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research, is now available! In this edition:

  • Worried Sick: Living with Anxiety Disorders
  • Looking at Lupus: An Attack from Within
  • Gene Affects Response to Asthma Drugs
  • Get an Eye Exam During Diabetes Month
  • Featured Website: Go4Life

NIH News in Health is also available in a PDF format. A limited number of print copies are available free of charge, please contact or 301-435-7489 for more information.

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

My NCBI – Award Filter for My Bibliography

My Bibliography will be enhanced to include a filter for the Award view display. Award view is only available to eRA Commons users with active grants in their portfolios. The Award view filter provides a method to view award data more clearly by giving you the ability to limit citation results by publication year(s), award number and publication type. For more information, please refer to the NLM Technical Bulletin.

Announcing Twitter feed from MedlinePlus en español

The National Library of Medicine is excited to announce a new Twitter feed from MedlinePlus en español  – @MedlinePlusEsp.  Follow @MedlinePlusEsp for trusted health information in Spanish.  Stay up to date on the latest health news, health observances, seasonal health issues, and healthy living tips, all in Spanish.  If you have any questions about @MedlinePlusEsp, contact the MedlinePlus team at NLM via the contact form linked from every page on MedlinePlus.

Here’s a Spanish translation of the above message, in case you want to post it for a Spanish-speaking audience:

La Biblioteca Nacional de Medicina de los EE.UU (NLM) se complace en anunciar el feed de Twitter para MedlinePlus en español: @MedlinePlusEsp. Siga @MedlinePlusEsp para encontrar información confiable de salud en español. Manténgase al día de las últimas noticias, datos oportunos en el área de salud y consejos para vivir una vida saludable ¡todo en español!

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).

Follow Disaster Health Information News on Twitter!

The National Library of Medicine makes use of several social media tools to share news and resources. One of the latest tools developed at NLM is the NLM_DIMRC twitter feed. Be sure to start following @NLM_DIMRC!/NLM_DIMRC and share with your colleagues. This will allow you to keep up on a daily basis with news bytes on disaster medicine and public health! If you are looking for a more in-depth review of items, consider subscribing to the DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB listserv. You can also see a complete list of NLM social media tools.

Clinical Alert: Commonly Used Three-drug Regimen for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Found Harmful NIH Stops One Treatment Arm of Trial; Other Two Treatments to Continue

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has stopped one arm of a three arm multi-center, clinical trial studying treatments for the lung-scarring disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) for safety concerns. The trial found that people with IPF receiving a currently used triple-drug therapy consisting of prednisone, azathioprine, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) had worse outcomes than those who received placebos or inactive substances.

The interim results from this study showed that compared to placebo, those assigned to triple therapy had greater mortality (11 percent versus 1 percent), more hospitalizations (29 percent versus 8 percent), and more serious adverse events (31 percent versus 9 percent) and also had no difference in lung function test changes. Participants randomly assigned to the triple- therapy arm also remained on their assigned treatment at a much lower rate (78 percent adherence versus 98 percent adherence).

The other two study arms, or intervention groups, of this IPF trial comparing NAC alone to placebo alone will continue. In stopping this part of the trial, the NHLBI accepted the recommendation of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) – an independent advisory group of experts in lung disease, biostatistics, medical ethics, and clinical trial design. The DSMB has been monitoring the study since it began.

Please visit the NLM website to read the entire clinical alert.