Jan 29

MLGSCA/NCNMLG 2010 Slides (#jm2010az)

Perhaps I can write a bit more about my trip to Arizona soon, but for now I wanted to get the slides posted for those who attended.

It was lots of fun and a treat for me to get to leave Syracuse in January and gape at palm trees for a couple of days. 🙂

Nov 19

Notes on the #mlamobile Webcast (Questions and Comments)

So, we had just decided that we should encourage people to tweet about the Webcast using a hashtag and we jumped online to announce it…and discovered Nikki Dettmar had beaten us to it by a few minutes.

GMTA, Nikki.  🙂

Anyway, it has been a lot of fun reading the tweets and I’m so grateful to those who participated for providing such useful, fun, fast feedback.

Some tweets I found interesting:

BerrymanD Great content today. Would recommend that, in the future, we skip the history lesson and go directly to the current content. #mlamobile

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 21:00:38 +0000 – tweet id 5837056058 – 552

Donna, I could not disagree more.  The history provides context showing that technological change isn’t new, but is happening faster and faster. Without context, we’d just be talking about this week’s information instead of shedding a little light on longer-term trends.  Also, Max rules and I learned a whole lot from his history lesson.

ericrumsey RT @joepemberton Android vs iPhone Debate Looks Like Windows vs Mac Debate #MLAmobile (Wired) http://bit.ly/11iy2G (via @jmk)

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 20:57:48 +0000 – tweet id 5836982620 – 540

I think of it as more analogous to “Windows vs. Linux.”

bohyunkim App development requires a web developer, says Rothman. Excellent point – mobilization requires resources + staff. #mlamobile

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 20:55:54 +0000 – tweet id 5836934904 – 532

App development requires, I believe, a developer.  Simple iPhone-optimized Web sites seem within the reach of people who are already comfortable with XHTML and CSS …and those people aren’t necessarily programmers/developers.

jopomojo #mlamobile nice image of Google’s modus operandi: throw it against the wall and see if it sticks. Was that Rothman who said that?

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 20:52:21 +0000 – tweet id 5836846201 – 518

Nope. That was Bart.  Bart was, I believe, the most consistently funny presenter.

ilyse324 #mlamobile so glad to see how happy Bart and David are to be there and talk about these technologies 🙂

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 20:48:18 +0000 – tweet id 5836744716 – 503

Well, I’m more accustomed to being asked to STOP talking about the stuff that interests me…so this was a nice change of pace.

dial_m #mlamobile google conversion util good to way to preview how ur current website displays on a mobile phone http://www.google.com/gwt/n

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 20:44:47 +0000 – tweet id 5836655564 – 490

I don’t think I agree. The Google mobile conversion tool isn’t an emulator that shows you what a page will look like on a mobile browser.  Its purpose is to take pages that are NOT mobile-friendly and present them in such a way that they are easier to view in a mobile browser.

greeneyed_ives Does anyone have current patrons using PubGet? Especially practicing clinicians? Curious if it as popular as Rothman says. #mlamobile

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 20:04:55 +0000 – tweet id 5835687873 – 338

Did I say PubGet was popular?  I don’t think it is yet…but I don’t understand why not.  Besides, PubGet is only REALLY useful to patrons if their library implements it.  It is free and and easy to try- why not get in touch with the folks at PubGet, set it up, and see if patrons like it?  If you’d like an introduction to Ian at PubGet, let me know.  He seems an awfully sharp, very nice guy who really likes libraries and librarians.

gabinator says @davidlrothman says Palm Pre’s problem is poor marketing #mlamobile

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:41:35 +0000 – tweet id 5835110236 – 214

Well, that’s one of its problems.  iPhone marketing is everywhere and excellent.  The marketing pushes for the T-Mobile MyTouch and the Verizon Droid have been strong.  The other important problem Palm has with the Pre is that it is the only device using its operating system…so development for it is going to be pretty limited.

Other dangling queries:

Someone asked about an Android phone called the “Hero.”

HTC makes a phone called the “Hero” which runs on Android 1.5 and a user interface that HTC made themselves. It looks purty.

Another viewer emailed to ask: “What are the health risks in using these devices?”

Dependency?  Max, Emily, and Bart seem a little addicted to their iPhones.  Maybe accidents caused by walking and texting? [PubMed search]

Any other questions you feel haven’t been answered yet?

Leave a comment here and we’ll try to answer it.

Still to come:

More behind-the-scenes photos and video.

Nov 17

Webcast Tomorrow on Twitter: #mlamobile

So we’re in Chicago getting ready for the Webcast tomorrow.

We just figured out that we want people to be able to submit questions or discuss the Webcast on Twitter, so use the hashtag #mlamobile to do so.

Thanks!

-David, Bart, Max, and Emily

(Nikki set up an archive for these tweets at Twapper Keeper.)

Nov 10

[UPDATED] Another Question about ‘Clinical Reader’ …and the NEJM

[UPDATE: 11/12/2009]

Got a call from Tom Richardson at the NEJM (who I saw play with the Bearded Pigs at MLA 2008!).

According to Tom, NEJM has no arrangement with Clinical Reader and did not license their content to Clinical Reader. So it appears that Clinical Reader is again violating copyright.

[/UPDATE]

So, Clinical Reader shows video content from the NEJM, including a video on chest tube insertion (yeah, the same one I blogged about a ways back).

I thought this was odd.

After all, if you go to the NEJM’s home for this video, it clearly says one needs a subscription to view the content.

Hmmm.

So I decided to look around for any notes from either organization that would indicate Clinical Reader is using this video content with permission. Didn’t find it. Also didn’t find any published terms under which NEJM offered to license it.

My curiosity piqued, I decided to poke around more to see if anyone else was showing NEJMs content. Sure enough, somebody with a subscription to NEJM downloaded a decent copy and posted it on Vimeo:

It has been viewed there over 1,600 times.

Note to Vimeo: This violates terms of service. The user who uploaded it did not own it (as should be fairly obvious by the title cards). As much as I enjoy free access to high quality video, this belongs to NEJM, not this user. The video should at least be taken down from your servers.

Anyway, Vimeo allows users to download videos in .flv format. I downloaded that .flv with no problem…so now Vimeo is serving as a distribution channel for others who would like unlicensed copies. I wonder if perhaps that is how Clinical Reader got a copy to show from their site.

I’d be interested to hear from the NEJM and Clinical Reader: Was this content licensed to Clinical Reader? If so, why is the video quality so much poorer than in the original at the NEJM’s site OR the Vimeo copy?

If not, why isn’t the NEJM interested that their content is being stolen?

I mean…if I didn’t sweat pesky things like copyright, I think I could build an AMAZING portal for health information…made of other people’s content.

Clinical Reader’s FAQ says:

Clinical Reader respects all copyrights and legal restrictions on content and access. Clinical Reader cannot give a user access to articles to which the user does not already have access to copyright-restricted content. For example, if a user does not have access to a research article in the BMJ (either through an individual subscription or through the user´s institution), Clinical Reader will not be able to show the item in full.

Huh. I don’t have access to NEJM from here at home. But I can still view its content in Clinical Reader.

[EDIT]
Veoh is showing this video, too.

and medicalvideos.us

…and there’s a RapidShare link on this blog.
[/EDIT]

Oct 01

LigerCat

In a recent comment, Creaky (Kathleen Crea) made me aware of LigerCat, a 3rd-Party PubMed/MEDLINE tool that is new to me. I’m really enjoying working with it.Just a reminder that I don’t consider myself an expert searcher. I figure I’m basically competent, but sometimes need to get advice from more experienced searchers (right, Melissa?) for help on more challenging literature searches- so any tool that helps me do more (or miss less) is gold to me.

I’m sure that more experienced Medical Libraryfolk don’t have to do this, but as I start putting together a lit search, I often start by going to the MeSH Browser http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html to begin working out what MeSH terms I might be working with. Alternately, I might go to Novo|Seek or GoPubMed with a few key words to get a frequency analysis of MeSH terms. In these examples, I’m doing some preliminary searching on Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis.

LigerCat isn’t necessarily *better* at this, but its presentation is simpler. Rather than putting the frequency analysis of MeSH terms in a left sidebar, it gives a cloud of MeSH terms:

Seeing the biggest, most obvious tag item in the cloud (see above) is delightful. If one clicks on the tags in the MeSH cloud, they’re added to the search. When you’re done adding terms, you can click “Go to PubMed” to run the search there.

In this example, the query run in PubMed is:
(“encephalomyelitis, acute disseminated”[MeSH Terms] OR (“encephalomyelitis”[All Fields] AND “acute”[All Fields] AND “disseminated”[All Fields]) OR “acute disseminated encephalomyelitis”[All Fields] OR (“acute”[All Fields] AND “disseminated”[All Fields] AND “encephalomyelitis”[All Fields])) AND (“Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated”[mh] AND “Humans”[mh] AND “Treatment Outcome”[mh])

…and the results aren’t bad.

If I was caught up in Google Reader (I’m not, and haven’t been for about 15 months), I would have noticed Creaky’s post on LigerCat a couple of days ago. This reminds me to move Kathleen’s feed into my “High Priorities” folder. You may want to do the same.

Sep 17

CiteSmart (3rd-Party PubMed/MEDLINE Tool)

citesmartlogo

CiteSmart is a citation software specifically developed for PubMed users to faciliate the writing of manuscripts and other academic documents. With CiteSmart, retrieving references from PubMed is just a click away. This revolutionary software has many new features not found anywhere else. You will be able to:

* Search PubMed from your Word document.
* Insert a citation directly into your document from Internet Explorer.

These two features will save an enormous amount of time. It reduces extraneous clicking and the need to create a database of references. CiteSmart handles it all!

Anyone care to try it and write up a proper review? Perhaps for the JMLA?

Sep 10

‘Qualities’ not ‘Quality’ – Text Analysis Methods to Classify Consumer Health Websites

Guocai Chen, Jim Warren, Joanne Evans. ‘Qualities’ not ‘Quality’ – Text Analysis Methods to Classify Consumer Health Websites. electronic Journal of Health Informatics, 2009; 4(1): e5.

Abstract

There is an increasing need to help health consumers to achieve timely, differentiated access to quality online healthcare resources. This paper describes and evaluates methods for automated classification of consumer health Web content with respect to qualitative attributes relevant to the preferences of individual health consumers. This is illustrated in the context of identifying breast cancer consumer web pages that are ‘supportive’ versus ‘medical’ perspective, as compared to an existing manual classification employed by a breast cancer portal with personalised search preference options. Classification is performed based on analysis of word co-occurrences and an enhanced decision tree classifier (a decision forest). Current classification test results for ‘medical’ versus ‘supportive’ type resources are 90% accurate (95% confidence interval, 86-94%) using this decision forest classifier. These early results are indicating that language use patterns can be used to automate such classification with acceptable accuracy; however, a wider range of websites and metadata attributes needs to be assessed and compared to end-user feedback. Future application may be either in a tool to facilitate metadata coders in populating the databases of domain-specific portals such as BCKOnline, or in providing tagging or sorting on content type on live search results from health consumers.

Full Text: PDF (Free, registration required)

Sep 07

Lin On PubGet and 3rd Party PubMed Tools

Since I don’t have the option of implementing PubGet (previously mentioned) at my place of work, getting to read about the experiences that others have had with it is a treat.

Over at Up to the Waves, Lin shares her observations.

Lin also writes, however:

Pubget is only one of the 3rd party life science search engines that tries to create shortcut to search PubMed. If you are a serious researcher, my advise is using the 3rd party search engines with caution or as a pre-search. Getting comfortable and familiar using PubMed itself is your goal. If you need assistance using PubMed, contact your medical librarians.

I can’t wholly agree with this. Not all 3rd-Party PubMed/Medline tools are meant to replace PubMed, and some can simply do things that PubMed itself cannot. If you are a serious researcher, my advice is to make yourself aware of all the tools at your disposal, and use the best ones for the purpose at hand.

Sep 03

Physician Rating Sites: Pew-pew-pew!

Bleah. Yet another article about Web sites for rating doctors.

Is anyone else really tired of seeing these articles and pretending these sites matter? They might one day, but they don’t now.

pew-pew-pew-small Anyway, the Pew Internet and American Life Project (Please tell me I’m not the only one who quietly thinks “pew-pew-pew!” to himself every time Pew is mentioned?) says:

Nearly half (47%) of internet users, or 35% of adults, have turned to the internet for information about doctors or other health professionals.”

Nothing surprising there.

“These health information seekers, however, are not likely to post their own reviews of doctors: just 7% of those who looked for information about doctors online (and 4% of all internet users) report posting a review of a doctor online.”

Well, nothing surprising there, either. The vast majority of Wikipedia’s users (or Digg’s) are there to read, not to contribute. Isn’t this the overwhelming trend in most “social media”? (And wouldn’t noting this context be important? What does this item from Pew mean without such context?)

I’ll state again that I think every physician rating site I’ve seen is useless. When patrons (or friends) ask me how to find a good specialist, I recommend avoiding these sites. The advice I gave one family member was to get in touch with local, regional, and national patient support groups for the diagnosed (or suspected) condition necessitating a visit to a specialist. If you want the opinion of informed patients, that’s where you’ll find it.

Just for good measure:

I like lolcats. Sue me.

Sep 02

All Your HealthBase Are Belong to Us (Updated 9/3/2009)

[Update]

The folks at Netbase have issued an apology:

Our first release of healthBase yesterday surfaced a few embarrassing and offensive bugs. These were far in the minority of results but enough to keep us up late improving the site. We sincerely regret and apologize in particular for any offense caused.

…I wasn’t offended. I just thought the tool was awful.

[/Update]

TechCrunch called healthBase “The Ultimate Medical Content Search Engine.”

I beg to differ. Rather than getting into what it is supposed to do, lets just try a few queries and see how its semantic technologies perform.

First, a search for causes of AIDS.

As a Red Sea Pedestrian myself, I’m fascinated to learn that Jews cause AIDS. Huh. What if I was a Jewish Physiotherapist? How would I live with myself?

Next, we’ll look at the “Pros & Cons of lithotripsy”:

Take a look at the “Pros” list. These are just partial phrases describing what lithotripsy is. This list of pros and cons make no sense at all.

Among the sources it searches:
– Wikipedia
– NaturalNews.com (Check out the embedded video in the right sidebar and listen to the lyrics- there’s some idiotic stuff there)

I’d recommend to healthBase that they dump these and instead search sites like MedlinePlus.

HealthBase isn’t even a good medical content search engine, much less the “ultimate”.

Sep 01

Understanding Medical Tests with Wolfram|Alpha

I thought Wolfram|Alpha was pretty neat when I first heard about it and looked over the examples of its potential use in Health and Medicine, but I didn’t really give it another look until I stumbled across this post from the Wolfram|Alpha blog, “Understanding Medical Tests with Wolfram|Alpha”.

Bookmarked for later potential use.

Aug 27

Radiopaedia for the iPhone

Radiopaedia (previously mentioned here) has made available (at no charge via the iPhone App Store) a Radiopaedia Radiology Teaching File of “50 CNS cases comprising 170 images, questions and detailed text.”

Neat. Still, I’d like to know how many health infomation wikis are set up to deliver a mobile version for a variety of mobile browsers.

This reminds me: I’m going to need to do an update on my list of medical wikis in the near future. If you know of any that I don’t have listed, please leave a comment or drop me an email?