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Archive for the ‘Mobile Devices’ Category

Bohr Thru: a Chemistry-Themed Mobile Game from NLM’s Specialized Information Services

Bohr ThruThe Bohr Thru video game, developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), is designed to teach the Bohr model of the atom, by using a 3-match game style to collect protons, neutrons, and electrons to create the first 18 elements on the periodic table. The model describes how protons and neutrons form an atom’s nucleus, surrounded by electrons in orbit at different energy levels. Element structures are further reinforced during bonus rounds where players that successfully build Bohr models earn “power-ups” to use in the 3-match game. Atom, the game’s mascot, travels along with you and provides fun and interesting facts about the chemical elements. The game supports entry level chemistry curricula. Short (five-minute), meaningful, in-class game sessions are possible.

Bohr Thru was crafted under the technical lead of SIS computer scientist Ying Sun, working with SIS intern Wendy Sparks and the SIS K-12 team, who partnered with Xin Wu, a graduate student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute majoring in Interactive Media and Game Development. Bohr Thru is freely available for iPhone and iPad devices, and can be downloaded from iTunes.

NIAMS Launches New Spanish-Language Website

NIAMS websiteThe National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a new Spanish-language website that provides free health information on conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin. The site is being launched to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month. Increasingly, website traffic to NIAMS’ Spanish-language content represents about 50% of its total visits in a given month. To meet this high demand, the new site features quick and easy navigation tools to help Spanish-speaking individuals identify and locate NIAMS health topics. It also includes landing pages that provide all of the information offered on a given topic in one place. The website also offers:

  • New site features navigation tools to help Spanish-speaking individuals locate NIAMS health topics
  • Improved access to NIAMS’ Spanish-language health information and related federal resources
  • Information on participating in clinical research studies
  • Responsive design that makes the site easier to read on mobile devices

NIAMS is committed to providing health information that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for diverse populations, including underserved racial and ethnic communities. The NIAMS Spanish-language materials complement the institute’s entire suite of health resources that are part of its National Multicultural Outreach Initiative, many of which are also available in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Updated AIDSinfo HIV/AIDS Glossary and Companion App Now Include Images

AIDSinfo has announced the release of the 8th edition of the AIDSinfo Glossary of HIV/AIDS-Related Terms and a redesign of the corresponding glossary app! This update features the addition of images and infographics highlighting select glossary terms. With definitions for more than 700 HIV/AIDS-related terms in English and Spanish, the glossary—whether online, in print, or as an app—offers a comprehensive guide to the vocabulary of HIV.

The free glossary app, available for iOS and Android devices, has been redesigned with an updated look and feel. The app includes several new features that make it easy to save frequently referenced terms and share favorite terms on Facebook or Twitter or by e-mail or text. The app also includes an audio feature to hear terms correctly pronounced in English and Spanish and a toggle button to switch between English and Spanish terms and definitions.

New Mobile App Connects HIV Providers, Advocates, and People Living with HIV/AIDS to NLM HIV-Related Websites

Logo for Go2NLM Mobile App

HealthHIV, in partnership with the National Library of Medicine (NLM), has announced the launch of the Go2NLM mobile application. Building on its Navigate to Learn More publication, HealthHIV created the Go2NLM app to provide information about and direct access to NLM’s authoritative HIV-related websites to HIV providers, advocates, and people living with HIV/AIDS. The app features dynamic content, including updates about new and highlighted HIV technical assistance and capacity building tools and resources promoted by NLM.

The websites featured on the Go2NLM app are:

The application will soon be available for download from HealthHIV, as well as the Apple and Google app stores. For more information about the Go2NLM project, please contact HealthHIV.

Updates for NLM’s Tox Town City Neighborhood

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Tox Town City neighborhood now has updated graphics with a new photorealistic look. The City, Town, and Southwest scenes are now in HTML 5. Location and chemical information remains the same, but the new graphics allow users to better identify with real-life city locations. Tox Town can be accessed on a variety of personal electronic devices, including iPads, iPad minis, and tablets. Regardless of where you live, check out the updated Tox Town City neighborhood and learn about potential environmental health risks!

Designing Questionnaires for the Mobile Age

How does your web survey look on a handheld device? The Pew Research Center reported that 27% of respondents to one of its recent surveys answered using a smartphone, and another 8% used a tablet. That means over one-third of participants used handheld devices to answer the questionnaire. The lesson learned is unless you are absolutely sure your respondents will be using a computer, you need to design surveys with mobile devices in mind. As a public opinion polling organization, the Pew Center knows effective practices in survey research. It offers advice on developing questionnaires for handhelds in its article Tips for Creating Web Surveys for Completion on a Mobile Device. The top suggestion is to be sure your survey software is optimized for smartphones and tablets. SurveyMonkey fits this criterion, as do many other popular Web survey applications.

Software alone will not automatically create surveys that are usable on handheld devices. It is also important to follow effective design principles, such as keeping it simple and using short question formats. Avoid matrix-style questions. Keep the length of your survey short. And don’t get fancy with questionnaires which include logos and icons, which take longer to load on smart devices. It is also advisable to pilot test questionnaires on computers, smartphones, and tablets, to be sure to offer a smooth user experience to all of your respondents.

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.

MedlinePlus Releases New Responsive Web Design Interface!

New responsive design of MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en Espanol

MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español are now available with a fresh look and feel and a completely redesigned web site. The new release uses responsive design for ease of use on any device, whether that is a desktop monitor or mobile touchscreen. Responsive pages automatically change their layout to fit your screen. Further details are available by visiting the NLM announcement page.

Since this latest version enables all users to access a layout of MedlinePlus.gov optimized for their device, there is no longer a need for the separate mobile (m.medlineplus.gov) sites. These sites are now retired, and visitors to them will be redirected to the new version of MedlinePlus.gov. NLM invites you to try out the MedlinePlus full responsive design on your smartphone, tablet or desktop. A two-minute tour of the redesigned site is also available in English and Spanish. Feel free to send your feedback and comments about the new design via the “Contact Us” link that appears on every MedlinePlus page.

NLM Project to Improve Malaria Diagnosis Wins HHS Funding

Researchers at the National Library of Medicine are collaborating on a software tool to speed up the diagnosis of malaria. They’ve developed an automated system for detecting and counting parasites in blood films. The goal is to develop a version for smartphones so it can be used in the field. The project, Watch it, Parasite!, is an idea so promising, the US Department of Health and Human Services will provide support from the HHS Innovation Ventures Fund Program to take this early-stage idea to the next level.

The current standard method for malaria diagnosis in the field is light microscopy of blood films. About 170 million blood films are examined every year for malaria, which involves manual counting of parasites. To improve malaria diagnostics, the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an R&D division of the National Library of Medicine, in collaboration with NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Mahidol-Oxford University, is developing a fully-automated system for parasite detection and counting in blood films. While existing drugs make malaria a curable disease, inadequate diagnostics and emerging drug resistance are major barriers to successful mortality reduction. The development of a fast and reliable diagnostic test is therefore one of the most promising ways of fighting malaria, together with better treatment, development of new malaria vaccines, and mosquito control.

Read more about this project by visiting NLM in Focus.

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.