Yelp Partnering with Libraries to Improve Online Information

OCLC, in an effort to give libraries better online presence, is partnering with Yelp to increase the information about libraries in Yelp records. To do this, Yelp is pulling data from OCLC Library Spotlight program to supplement existing information about libraries.  Anything missing from a record, like hours, phone numbers, addresses and much more, has a significantly better shot at being in Yelp since it’s pulling from one centralized place.

The OCLC Library Spotlight program is a free service where any library can add, delete or update it’s profile on one site, and those changes will be reflected in the many places that OCLC feeds information, like Yelp. OCLC hopes to build more partnerships in an effort to provide and promote a convenient way for libraries to update their information for multiple locations.

This press release has more information about the exciting partnership.

Solve the Outbreak – CDC iPad app updated!

CDC_SolveappFrom the CDC:

Are you ready to work your way closer to becoming a Disease Detective?  CDC has released an update to Solve the Outbreak, the popular, free iPad app that puts you in the shoes of a member of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. The app now has twice as many outbreaks as before, giving you double the opportunity to have fun.

The immensely popular app has had fans clamoring for more.  So if you’ve been stuck as an Apprentice, now’s your chance to work your way through the new outbreaks to earn more badges!

New, exciting features such as sound effects, new levels, and achievements.

Work hard to earn an achievement such as Clever Clogs and Smarty Pants; but beware of the Grim Reaper and Underachiever if you fail to Solve the Outbreak.

Whether you’re a teen considering a career in the sciences, a teacher looking for a great new way to show epidemiology at work, or a germ nerd of any age, Solve the Outbreak is a fascinating peek into the work that real-life Disease Detectives do every day to keep us safe.

As soon as a new outbreak is suspected, you race to the scene and need to figure out what’s happening, why, how it started, and how it’s spread. Act fast and you can save a whole town, or a state, or even a country. Come up with the wrong answers and, well… You can always try again!

Download the app from the iTunes Store:

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.

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.

Solve the outbreak!

CDC_SolveappDo you want to be a disease detective?  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a new app, Solve the Outbreak.

New outbreaks happen every day and CDC’s disease detectives are on the front lines, working 24/7 to save lives and protect people. When a new outbreak happens, disease detectives are sent in to figure out how outbreaks are started, before they can spread.  with this new, free app for the iPad, you can play the role of an Epidemic Intelligence Service agent. Find clues about outbreaks and make tough decisions about what to do next: Do you quarantine the village? Talk to people who are sick? Ask for more lab results?

With fictional outbreaks based on real-life cases, you’ll have to puzzle through the evidence to earn points for each clue. The better your answers, the higher your score – and the more quickly you’ll save lives. You’ll start out as a Trainee and will earn badges by solving cases, with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective.

The new app includes three outbreaks, with more coming soon.

Download the ipad app

Emergent research conversation – Alex daSilva & PainTrek

Alex DaSilva, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, and Director of the Headache & Orofacial Pain Effort (H.O.P.E.) at University of Michigan School of Dentistry, will share his methods and innovations in the area of chronic pain disorders.

Research such as efforts in collecting fMRI data during a migraine attack to developing mobile apps and VR tools that facilitate new ways of pain data exploration and discovery will be discussed, including the soon to be released PainTrek mobile app. PainTrek is a novel mobile 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. Pain information can be entered as often as the user likes, can be viewed over time, and even analyzed to provide deeper understanding of the user’s pain.

Dr. DaSilva will respond to a series of prepared questions related to his research process(es), followed by Q & A from the audience. Refreshments will be served.

  • Date:    25 February
  • Time:  10:00-11:30am,
  • Location:  Hatcher Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library.

Sponsored by the University Library.  On the 4th Monday of each month, from 10:00-11:30am in the Hatcher Gallery, programs are presented that address the research lifecycle. These events work to providem a better understanding the various types of research undertaken across campus, particularly as they relate to library services and support, opportunities for collaboration, data management and preservation, and beyond. More information about this series can be found here.

#mHealth: Mobile Apps & Sites

You know a trend has caught on when Mashable posts about it.

Mobile health (or #mHealth, for the Twitterati out there), whether in the form of mobile sites, apps, or technologies is becoming increasingly prevalent among both consumers and health practitioners.

Keeping up with reputable sources, however, can be a challenge. Fortunately, the National Library of Medicine has an entire gallery of mobile apps & sites for your ready reference.

Don’t forget, the Taubman Health Sciences Library also has a research guide to help you acquire the mobile tools you need. Check it out here, and contact your liaison librarian if you have any questions or technical difficulties.

A smattering of options from NLM’s gallery:


  • Tried and true classics like PubMed mobile.
  • Medline Plus Mobile for vetted consumer health resources.
  • And several apps I bet you didn’t know existed, like WISER – the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders, to help with “critical information on hazardous substances.”

Consumer Health Apps – The Travel Edition

Here at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, one of our most popular research guides is our Health Sciences Mobile Resources guide. While these resources are mainly geared for the people we serve – the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy as well as the University of Michigan Health System – the popularity of the guide is undoubtedly a reflection of mobile access’s increasing prevalence in the health field.

“Wired” © 2004 Paul Downey, CC BY 2.0

It is no secret that I’m a fan of the New York Times health section, and am repeatedly inspired by its stories. A recent article highlighted several health apps geared toward travelers, which can be  useful (or potentially lifesaving). A few standout:

  • The Emergency Medicine Center Locator app – invaluable for travelers in unfamiliar locations.
  • The Glucose Buddy app – helps people with diabetes track blood sugar levels.
  • The Epocrates app – which has one particularly useful medication identification feature highlighted in the article.

If you’re packing a suitcase for some summer travels, there may be some valuable resources here, and at least for these you won’t be charged baggage fees.

WISER for iPhone/iPod touch 2.0 now available

WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) for iPhone/iPod touch 2.0 is now available.

  • WISER’s popular Help Identify Chemicalcapability is now available on the iOS platform. Identify and validate an unknown chemical based on the following criteria:
    • physical properties of the substance gathered by observation or sensors
    • signs and symptoms of victims of exposure
    • the ability to categorize a substance, such as a substance used in a meth lab or a flammable substance
    • hazard values from NFPA 704 placards
    • transportation identification, including DOT placards, type of road trailer, and type of rail car
  • Use WISER’s protective distance mapping feature on your iPhone or iPod touch. Visualize the areas likely to be affected during the first 30 minutes after a substance is spilled or released on a live map. The Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook is the source of WISER’s protective distance data.

For more information, click here.  WISER is also available for other platforms.