Tag Archive for ipad

Meet Browzine™ Turn your tablet into your e-reader!

Keep up to date with your scholarly reading with Browzine™, a new way of browsing and reading your favorite journals from many major publishers on your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android Tablet or Android phone. BrowZine is free. All licensed content is provided via UAB Libraries.



Get started in two EASY steps:

1.  Download the free Browzine app for your device.

2. When installed, choose University of Alabama at Birmingham as your university library. Use your Blazer ID/password when prompted.


Why use Browzine?

  • to scan the complete tables of contents of scholarly journals and read articles optimized for mobile devices
  •  to get one-click from journal tables of content to the PDFs of the articles you want to read
    • save specific articles for later reference and offline reading
    • create a bookshelf of your favorite journals for easy, fast access
  • to receive on screen notifications when new issues of your favorite journals are published

Other features:BrowZine_Article_Export_Options_iOS

  • Find journals by searching or browsing a title list, or by using a Browzine bookshelf chosen by subject.
  • Annotate or print articles by opening them in your favorite apps like Good Reader or iAnnotate.


I love my iPad Mini

I’ll admit it.  When Apple first announced the iPad mini, I was skeptical. Why would anyone want one, since the iPhone and iPad did everything so well and the iPhone is so portable?  Then I learned the mini fits in a doctor’s white coat pocket. And that the new mini has (almost) all the features of the iPad Air. So when offered the opportunity to upgrade from my iPad 2, I chose the new Mini with Retina Display and I could not be happier with it.

The size feels exactly right.

new coat size

To learn specifics about the features of the new mini, start withone of these comprehensive reviews from my favorite sites:

Why I like the iPad mini

  • It is small enough to carry in a large pocket or small purse, but has the functions I need to work productively as well as the apps for personal use that I also have on my phone
  • I have a case with keyboard for when needed for writing and email
  • Webpages open in the full site view, not the mobile view, so there is a full range of options for using them

The LHL Website in Both Views





Working with PDFS

Most people in academia need their tablet to work well with PDF files so they can easily find, read, annotate and store papers.  The smaller size works very well for these tasks in part because of the sharpness of the retinal display. The tablet fits easily in my hand for reading or sits upright in its case on a desk. If the PDF print is tiny, a pinch magnifies the screen.

  • From the LHL website, you can search in PubMed, CINAHL or Scopus to find articles. Many other UAB resources offer apps or mobile sites.
  • There are many apps that store and open PDFs.  I often use GoodReader because it has an excellent set of annotation tools.

Screenshot of an Annotated PDF on the Mini



  • Most PDF apps allow you to upload the finished PDF to Dropbox, email it to yourself to save storage on your phone, or open it in another app, like Papers or EndNote.  I use the EndNote app ($) because it syncs with my other computers. A recent upgrade added a robust set of annotation tools to EndNote as well.

Screenshot of an EndNote Library


Share your experience with using tablets for clinical care or research in the comments below.

Tell Me a Story… via Social Media

Most people love a good story.  I know  I do.  I first heard of Storify when reading an article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Profhacker blog. Storify is a social media curating tool that makes it easy to gather content from a variety of sources and present it in a narrative.  You can incorporate a mix of links, videos, pictures, social media posts and add commentary as well. You control what elements you want in your story.

I found Storify easy to use. You can use your Twitter or Facebook accounts to log into Storify or create a separate account (you will still have to connect to those accounts to add tweets or FB posts to your story). Storify interfaces with Facebook, YouTube,Twitter, Flickr, Google, Pinterest, RSS Feeds and more, which means you can search them to add content to your story.  Once you identify the content you want to include, you drag and drop it into your story.  With a click you can add commentary if you wish. It’s that simple. Once you publish your story it can be shared via the publicize feature. You can also embed a story into a web site or blog.

Here’s a quick video that demonstrates the basics.

Storify is free, but it does offer a “business” package with additional features, such as private stories, SEO optimization, custom embedding and more. Storify also has a free iPad App and a Chrome extension.

What is good for?

Many news organizations like to live blog developing events and public reaction to them. Here’s an example from CNN:

Filibuster in Texas

Some people like to record insightful tweets from professional conferences, whether it’s the entire conference or an individual session.  Example:

Highlights of #altmetrics: May 2013

No doubt there are other creative uses of Storify.  Perhaps you work in public health and want to gauge what people are saying about vaccines on social media for a pitch for funding for a public service campaign.  Or maybe you work in marketing at XYZ company and want to capture what people are saying about the company for a presentation.  Or perhaps your teenage daughter is a big fan of a musician and she wants to capture the live twitter chat he had with his fans for her Live Journal.

Can you think of some practical applications for Storify?  Let me know in comments.



NLM Mobile

Last week, Cara wrote about NLM’s newest iPAD/iPhone App “My MedList.” The National Library of Medicine has a growing gallery of apps and websites customized for mobile viewing.  See them here: http://nlm.gov/mobile/

I find the Guide to NLM Mobile Web App extremely useful. Use it to locate and open NLM Mobile Sites and Apps.NLM Mobile on Android phone

To get it, scan the QR Code below with your phone or tablet:





Then, add it to your homescreen (iPad/Phone) or bookmark it and add a bookmark widget to a screen (Android.)

NLM apps/web apps cover a variety of topics including drug information, health information for patients, PubMed apps, AIDS guidelines and glossaries, toxicology databases and information for disasters and emergency preparedness.

Among my personal favorites are the three educational apps (Available for iPad).

Embryo: Visually explore human embryo development.  Includes some videos.

NLM Native Voices:  Hear individuals share stories about Native American culture, including traditional healing ways and modern medical treatments.

Turning the Pages  Download and explore beautifully illustrated historical medical texts, with curator and historian annotations.

Turning the Pages Opened on iPad


NLM Releases MyMedList

MyMedList (MML) is the latest free app released by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that allows users to electronically manage their current and past medications. This would be particularly useful for someone who takes many medications at different frequencies or manages this information for family members (you can create multiple profiles).  The lists can be saved, printed and even emailed.

Initially, the app asks you to create a profile which includes name, birthdate, insurance info, etc. It isn’t necessary to fill out every field. Once you complete your profile, you can enter medications manually or import a list from an Apple device.  When manually entering, you search by the medication name and select the appropriate dosage.  It then takes you to a screen that allows you to enter start/stop dates, amount of medication, frequency and any special instructions (take before bed, take on empty stomach etc). At the bottom of this page, you can click on the DailyMed entry for that drug.  Basically, DailyMed reproduces the FDA-approved information found on the insert of the prescription.  You can also search DailyMed separately and look up medications by drug name, class or NDC.

MyMedList is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad (requires iOS 5.0 or later).

Staying Healthy: Apps for Preventive Care

My Health Checklist 2012 is an iPhone/iPad App that provides patients evidence-based recommendations on preventive health measures.  Developed by a Preventive Medicine Physician, it identifies and includes recommendations from United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The price is $2.99.

The interface is simple to use. For general recommendations, put in your age/gender (or use this app look up information for others.)

View a scrollable list of recommendations:

Click the arrow to get more information on any topic. This same information can be searched for on the A-Z Topic list on the opening screen.

See the complete review in iMedicalApps

AHRQ ePSS for iPad/iPhone or Android was developed by the US Dept of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to assist primary care physicians identify the screening, counseling, and preventive medication services appropriate for their patients.  USPSTF recommendations are searchable by patient characteristics and risk factors. This app is free.

The opening screen offers a variety of options. Choose Browse to see an alphabeical list of topics, sortable by type.  To see recommendations for a specific patient, choose Search.

Search screen and results:



Click on “>” for more information about each recommendation:

A list of tools and handouts is also available.

Read a review on iMedicalApps

Bluefire Reader: Read library books on your iPad

The iPad is a convenient eBook reader.

screenshot Bluefire Reader

It’s portable, so you can carry your library with you. You can adjust font size and screen brightness for eye comfort and search the book for content. Images can be expanded and look stunning in color. A growing number of publishers are adding “enhanced content.”

Reading purchased books on the iPad is easy. Simply choose an appropriate app, based on the type of book you purchased (Kindle app for Amazon, Nook for Barnes and Noble, iBooks for Apple, Google Books for Google.) Library books, though,are “checked out” for a specific time period and then downloaded for offline viewing. When they are due, they no longer work on your iPad. Adobe DRM is the industry standard for this process, but Adobe Digital Editions and the iPad are not compatible. Bluefire Reader is a free app that allows you to check out and read ebooks from Lister Hill Library on your iPad. Here is how to use it:

1. If you don’t already have one, create an Adobe Account here.  Save your user name and password, as you will want to use it on any other devices you might read books/PDFs on, including books from the public library.

2. Download Bluefire Reader from the Apple App Store.  While setting up, you should authorize the account with your Adobe Account.

For publishers that offer the option to download and check out books (as the Ebsco Host ebook collection does), choose your book using your iPad.  To download, you may need to create a personal account or use your Blazer ID/password.  Follow screen prompts.







Once downloaded, you can choose to open in BlueFire Reader.  After downloading, read the book later by using the Bluefire reader app.






Many publishers (such as Springer and eBrary) offer the option to download individual chapters as PDFS.  There is no checkout required, but you may be asked to log into an account.  Follow screen prompts.  Once downloaded, you will be able enlarge images, print the PDF and to manage it with your other PDF documents.


Most public libraries use Overdrive software to loan audiobooks and ebooks for iPads and iPhones. It is simple to use as well.  The instructions provided for other readers (except the Kindle) generally work on UAB ebooks as well.

Jefferson County Library Cooperative: eBooks and Audiobooks  Overdrive Help

Shelby County Public Library System   eBooks and Audiobooks  Getting Started

Reading PDFs on an iPad

Perhaps you are experimenting with using your iPad as a portable PDF library?  Or maybe you are considering purchasing an iPad and intend to use it to read and share PDFs on the go. If so, there are many applications to consider for managing and reading PDFs. One of the best reviews of these apps that I have found is this 2 part series from the iMedicalApps blog. It compares top apps that range in price from free to $14.99, evaluating their usefulness for healthcare professionals and researchers.

Finding the Best PDF Management App for Healthcare Professionals (Part 1) reviews iBooks, Dropbox, Goodreader and IAnnotate.

Finding the Best PDF Management App for Healthcare Professionals (Part 2) concludes with Papers, PDF Expert and Senteas, then makes a recommendation.

Although it wasn’t the reviewer’s first choice,I am experimenting with GoodReader ($4.99) because it is relatively inexpensive, allows you to read multiple file types, and works well with Dropbox. The PDFs are downloaded so they can be read offline, and PDFs are easily annotated as shown below.

Screenshot of an annotated PDF

Goodreader screenshot

LactMed App

LactMed logo

LactMed, part of the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®), is a database of drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of substances in breast milk and infant blood, the potential effects on lactation and in the nursing infant, the American Academy of Pediatrics category indicating the level of compatibility of the drug with breastfeeding, and alternate drugs to consider.

Geared to the healthcare practitioner and nursing mother, LactMed is peer-reviewed.  All data are derived from the scientific literature and fully referenced.

The LactMed app is available from the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. It is free.



New! PubGet for the iPad

Many UAB researchers use Pubget, the biomedical search engine that provides the results as PDFs. PubGet includes all of PubMed and more, and provides one-click access to the articles that UAB licenses.

The PubGet Mobile website allows researchers to read articles on their cell phones and is especially useful for browsing the latest issue of key journals, but it requires the reader to be online.

The new PubGet iPad app is now free to download at the Apple app store.  This app features:

  • PubMed ArXiv, JSTOR, & IEEE abstracts and articles
  • Author, journal or topic searching
  • Advanced searching
  • Customizable list for browsing latest issues of journals
  • PDFs of the articles that UAB licenses and any freely available

PDFs can be saved to the library for viewing later even when offline. So you can read your saved articles on airplanes, which is great for travelers.

Below is a screenshot of a Pubget search result list from the app.  You can expand the screen as shown on the right, and enlarge fonts, graphs or images when reading the PDFs using your fingers on the touch screen.

You can also type notes and save them with the PDFs.














According to the team at Pubget, there are planned updates to improve the functionality of the library.  Right now, it is not possible to sort or search by author or journal, organize into folders, or delete articles that have been read.  Articles from certain publishers do not display well.  And there is no app for Android or other platforms.

In the meantime, Pubget users who would find the limitations restricting can use the Pubget Mobile website while online, and export the articles they select into another app they have downloaded.  The free Apple iBooks app works well for this, and allows deleting and sorting by title, author and category.  There is a similar free eBook app in the Android Market. Both save the PDFs for viewing offline. Another option is to search Pubget on your computer and save the PDFs you select to a cloud app like Dropbox that syncs with your tablet or smart phone for later viewing offline.

The PubGet support team is very responsive to suggestions and problem-solving. There is a support button under the Settings icon found on each page.