Biomedical Research At Your Fingertips

Screen capture from an eReader showing an article from PubMed

Credit: NCBI

You don’t need to be a researcher to enjoy keeping up with the latest discoveries in biomedical research, and now there’s a great new tool to help you.

In case you didn’t know, PubMed Central is a free archive of biomedical and life science journal literature at the NIH’s National Library of Medicine. PubMed Central provides electronic access to that journal collection—more than 2.6 million scientific articles and counting. And, anyone can use it. In fact, PubMed Central is a hot site—700,000 individuals visit it everyday to take advantage of this great knowledge base.

But until today reading the E-version of these articles has been a bit of a drag. Poring over scientific articles on a laptop, tablet, or even your phone involved patiently scrolling up and down the columns, keeping your place, and being able flip back and forth to find tables, figures, and references.

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Mobile Health: Figuring Out What Works

This week, I was excited to join some of the world’s top experts on technology and health at the 2012 mHealth Summit. It’s a booming field, with a recent Pew survey finding 11% of cell phone users and 19% of smart phone users now have at least one health app on their mobile devices.

Among the hot topics at this year’s Summit was the need for rigorous research to determine which of these apps actually serve to improve health—and which don’t! To learn more, check out this video featuring NIH-supported researcher Charlene Quinn.

Dr. Quinn’s work focuses on mHealth approaches aimed at managing diabetes, but her message is relevant to all of us who’d like to use our smart phones, iPads, and other mobile devices to improve our health.