What if your patient is a self-tracker? — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of February 17, 2014)

Quantified Self

There were many Twitter tags and events last week that I really wanted to profile (and I hope there is time in the future to come back to some of the others!). The reason this topic won out over the others is because I participated in TWO events that focused on this question! One was the University of Michigan Pediatric Grand Rounds (#umpedsgr), with guest speaker Alex Djuricich, MD.

You can see a Storify of the complete Twitter stream from the talk here: Emerging Technology in Medicine: Friend or Foe?.

Alex launched his presentation with a case study of a young man with high blood pressure who comes to the clinic with his iPhone and app, wanting to share his data on his blood pressure trends.

Alex also got most of the audience livetweeting, which turns out to be what he’s used to at Indiana University, where they’ve livetweeted grand rounds for the past two years at #iupedsgrrounds.

He started with that case, branched out to include some discussion of types of tech that track or capture data about patients, and then swung back to the original case. Here are a few tweets from that talk.

I was absolutely blown away when the same idea came up last night at the weekly #HCSM chat.

This conversation was incredibly powerful. Clinicians and patients going back and forth, examples of data and tools, best practices, and more. These are just a very few of the tweets, with more archived in Symplur.

The conversation continued far past these thoughts, including challenges integrating data into electronic health records, balance between access to data points and ease of use for clinicians, training issues, how to integrate n=1 “trials” with population-based data, and much more. Truly a chat worth reading through in its entirely.

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

Signing up for a gym membership, losing weight, and being healthier are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions.  The University of Michigan Health System has compiled a list of fitness apps for your smartphone to help you achieve these goals.  For those of you looking for the newest trends in healthy living, UMHS says treadmill desks are growing in popularity.  That’s right, a treadmill desk: you walk on a treadmill while doing your office work including talking on the phone and using the computer.

Stick Figures Exercising

Exercise from the NounProject (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

Gamifying weight loss and fitness programs can make the idea of putting time in at the gym and skipping dessert a bit easier.  The University of Michigan’s MHealthy ActiveU program is a local example of a team-based approach to gamification and healthier living.   Oklahoma City, the entire city!, was challenged to lose weight by their mayor and they recently achieved their goal of losing 1 million pounds.  The ThisCityIsGoingOnADiet initiative encouraged the use of health journals and community events to motivate the citizens of Oklahoma City to lose weight and make healthy choices in their lives.

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions, THL hopes you have a very healthy 2014!

New Online Decision Aid for EBM Answers to Clinical Questions

One of our most-beloved resources has been a table we hand out to students that points them to the type of resource that would be best-suited to answer specific clinical questions. That table has been turned into an interactive portion of our website!

Step 1: From the drop-down menu, select the type of clinical question you’re working on from the following list:

  • Disease, condition or topic overview
  • Drug information
  • Synthesis of best practice recommendations (critically appraised topics)
  • Narrower questions
  • Patient education information

Step 2: See examples of the type of question you selected to make sure you’re on the right track.

Step 3: Select how you want to access the suggested resources – via mobile app, mobile site, desktop site, or both.

Check it out for yourself! You’ll see something like this (only without the red arrows):

thl ebm labeled

Limited Trial! BrowZine for your iPad

The University Library is running a trial of  a new technology called BrowZine – a tablet app that allows you to browse, read and monitor some of the library’s best journals (including a wide range of health sciences journals!), all from your iPad.

Built to accompany your searching needs, items found in BrowZine can easily be synced up with Zotero, Dropbox or several other services to help keep all of your information together in one place.

To learn more, please take a look at this short two minute video.

For the trial, search for “BrowZine” in the App Store and download the app for free; when initially launching BrowZine, select University of Michigan from the drop down list.We only have this trial for a few weeks, so we would appreciate your feedback while we consider subscribing to this service.  You can send your comments to thlibrary@umich.edu.

Browzine FAQ:

Q: Is this only available on an iPad? —

  • Currently, yes. An Android version is expected in June and a smart phone version expected in later summer or early fall.

Q: Can I use Browzine on a computer (laptop or desktop)?  —

  • No. (Sorry!)

Q: What credentials do I need to use to login?  —

  • Your UM uniquename and kerberos password.

Q: How long is the trial? —

  • 30 days, until late June.

Q: How far back does the content go?  —

  • If we already own the content, back to 2005.

Q: Where does the content come from?  —

  • These are current journals to which UM Library already subscribes.  It does not include aggregated content (e.g., CINAHL, PsycInfo, etc.).


My unsolicited 2 cents (and admittedly, I don’t have an iPad so I have yet to test out the full functionality) – but judging by the interface, if you’re an avid journal/article reader, this app can be really phenomenal. Check out the features in these screenshots:

  • Your library & bookshelf:


  • Your saved articles:


  • Article view & what you can do with the articles:


Let us know how you like it by sending an email to thlibrary@umich.edu!

A novel public health app – Plague Inc.

plague_app_iconFrom the CDC’s Public Health Matters blog:

Plague Inc., an app created by James Vaughan, of Ndemic Creationslayers, allows players to select a pathogen and strategize how to evolve symptoms, transmit the disease, and counter actions taken by world governments and scientists.  If the interventions don’t work and the disease is successful, players can watch as governments fall and humanity is wiped out.

Read an interview with Mr. Vaughan that discusses the app as a non-traditional way to raise public awareness on epidemiology, disease transmission, and diseases/pandemic information here.

Thieme’s eBook Library – now downloadable!

Did you know that as part of the University of Michigan, you have access to Thieme Medical Publishers’ collection of 69 full-color medical textbooks and atlases? You can find the collection through the library catalog and clicking on the “Thieme E-Book Library” result, pictured below:


Now you can ALSO download these books to an iPad or PC to peruse offline. Downloads of the full books are unlimited with our institutional license!

*Note: there are a couple of additional steps necessary (mainly, getting the iPublishCentral Reader app) to download chapters to your iPad. Read the full set of instructions here.


New version of NLM’s WISER for iOS 3.1 released

The National Library of Medicine’s WISER for iOS 3.1, a universal app for Apple iOS devices, is now available.  Here’s what’s new:

    • WISER now fully integrates content from the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) website.  This integration includes:
        • New hospital provider and preparedness planner profiles
        • Acute care guidelines for 6 known mass casualty agents/agent classes
        • The addition of a wealth of CHEMM reference material
        • The new CHEMM Intelligent Syndrome Tool (CHEMM-IST), a help identify tool designed to diagnose the type of chemical exposure after a mass casualty incident
    • Emergency Response Guidebook data is now updated to the ERG 2012; WISER for the iPhone includes a custom ERG 2012 tool

WISER for iOS 3.1 can be downloaded and installed directly from the Apple App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wiser-for-ios/id375185381?mt=8


And in the coming months:

    • WISER for Android 1.1, which includes the same CHEMM integration and ERG 2012 updates
    • Updates to our Windows and WebWISER platforms to include CHEMM integration, ERG 2012 data, and more
    • WISER for Android 3.1, which adds Help Identify Chemical and protective distance mapping to this popular platform

WISER is designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. It provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice.

PainTrek – A new app from the UM

PainTrekEver have a headache or facial pain that seemingly comes and goes without warning? Ever been diagnosed with migraines, TMD or facial neuralgias but feel that your ability to explain your pain is limited?

PainTrek is a novel app that was developed to make it easier to track, analyze, and talk about pain. Using an innovative “paint your pain” interface, users can easily enter the intensity and area of pain by simply dragging over a 3D head model. Pain information can be entered as often as desired, can be viewed over time, and even analyzed to provide deeper understanding of your pain.

The PainTrek application measures pain area and progression using a unique and accurate anatomical 3D system. The head 3D model is based on a square grid system with vertical and horizontal coordinates using anatomical landmarks. Each quadrangle frames well-detailed craniofacial areas for real-time indication of precise pain location and intensity in a quantifiable method. This is combined with essential sensory and biopsychosocial questionnaires related to previous and ongoing treatments, and their rate of success/failure, integrating and displaying such information in an intuitive way.

For more information and to download the free app, click here.

Check it out: The Emergent Research Conversation Series

The next talk in this new series from the University of Michigan Library will take place this coming Monday, February 25, 2013, from 10 am – 11:30 am in the Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery Lab.

Alex DaSilva from the Department of Biologic and Materials Science, and the Headache & Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE) with the U of M School of Dentistry, will be speaking on innovations in chronic pain disorders. Particularly, he will focus on information gathering and data exploration impacting the development of mobile apps – for example, fMRI data collected during migraines. He will also discuss the soon-to-be-released PainTrek mobile app – which was developed to facilitate tracking, analyzing, and discussing pain via a “paint your pain” interface in where users “can easily enter the intensity and area of pain by simply dragging over a 3D head.” Dr. DaSilva will discuss his research processes and field questions from the audience.


Refreshments will also be served.

Dr. DaSilva’s talk is part of a monthly series that delves into research occurring on the U of M campus – for upcoming events through the winter semester, click here. You can follow the conversation on Twitter via the official account, @UMLibRes, or the hashtag #MLibRes.

Stigma associated with mobile device use?

Along the same lines of last Monday’s post.

From iMedical Apps:

Last year I gave my brother an iPad for his birthday since he was starting his rotations as a 3rd year medical student and I knew he would be doing more mobile learning since most of his time would be spent in the wards.

He had downloaded medical iBooks and other medical apps to help him on his clerkship rotations and the initial experiences with the iPad were great. He was using a logitech keyboard case (our favorite for physicians) and stated he hardly used his laptop anymore. He said his iPad was great for looking up clinical reference material during and in between rounds — enabling him to “learn on the go”.

CC image courtesy JaredEarle on Flickr

CC image courtesy JaredEarle on Flickr

When I checked in with him during his 3rd clerkship rotation, his enthusiam had markedly dampened.

He told me he had stopped using his iPad in his current rotation — citing a bad evaluation as the reason.

Read the full article and comments here.