You Asked, We Answered: Apps for Work-Life Balance

A big thank you again for all those who attended our Info Expo Summer 2015 Technology Symposium. Our post-Expo survey revealed that our faculty and staff want more tech info. In particular, apps, apps, and more apps! Most of you, like many of us, are trying to find that work-life balance, and are looking for apps to help you do just that. So today we’re sharing some more fun, but useful apps that may not be work-related, but that you can use in your personal life.

Are you a crafty-pants? Do you like cooking or gardening? Are you always looking for inspiration for your next DIY project? Then you’ve probably already discovered Pinterest. But did you know that Pinterest is optimized for viewing in its app? If you have a Pinterest account, or even if you’re new to this platform, check out their free app for iOS or Android. For you newbies, Pinterest is an online pinboard where you can collect ideas from all over the internet and organizing them by theme. For those looking for inspiration, you can search for just about anything, from ideas for your kid’s next birthday party, to what you should wear to work this fall, to how to build a DIY bookshelf.

Download Pinterest for iOS here and for Android here.

With all the thunderstorms we’ve been having here in Central Florida lately, it’s always helpful to know what the weather will be like on your way to work and back, and whether there are any severe weather alerts. WeatherBug is great for both of these. This free app for iOS and Android will alert you when there’s a lightening storm in your area, and features a great real-time radar.

Download WeatherBug for iOS here and for Android here.

A Beautiful Mess
If you enjoy posting pictures on Instagram, then definitely check out A Beautiful Mess. This $0.99 app for iOS and Android lets you beautify your pictures before posting on social media. Add doodles, text, frames, and much more. You can also create collages from multiple pictures. Created by two women with their own lifestyle blog by the same name, this app is a must if you like adding a little whimsy to your social media posts.

Download A Beautiful Mess for iOS here and for Android here.

Stay tuned as we continue to bring you more apps for both work and fun!

Info Expo Summer 2015 Technology Symposium – Our Take

Last Thursday, the Health Sciences Library team hosted another edition of our popular lunch and learn-esque series, the HSL Info Expo! Thanks again to everyone that was able to attend. We tried something a little different this time, opting to host the event in the summer instead of the spring as is typical, and gave the event a more conference/symposium feel to suit the information that was being provided (usually we do some sort of theme). We had a great time! These selfie-stick pictures seem to indicate that many of our attendees also enjoyed the session:

Aside from selfie-stick shenanigans, our three presenters came prepared to share some great information. Nadine Dexter, our Director, gave everyone an overview of the 2015 Horizon Report, which focuses on key trends that will become a big deal in the next 1-5 years. Nadine is a big fan of the report, as it gives us an idea of what new technologies we can expect to see, and how our library and the medical school might be impacted by those changes.

Shalu Gillum, our Head of Public Services gave a talk on some of the apps and gadgets that came out this summer, as well as some that were just pretty cool and useful. Check out her list – you might find something interesting in there! Additionally, if you missed the blog post from last week, she posted a bunch of extras she wasn’t able to include in the presentation for the Expo that you can check out as well.  From the feedback we received, this part of the Expo was really well received, so we think we’ll keep the Apps & Gadgets portion as a permanent Info Expo segment!

Raney Collins, one of our talented library staff, provided an overview and brief demo of Thalmic Labs’ Myo, a gesture-based armband meant for use in presentations. Once the Myo is really ready for primetime, it should be a pretty useful tool in many areas, from business to gaming. Our Tech Talk Thursday blog post at the beginning of July previewed the Myo, but you can check out a video of how the Myo works in presentation mode on the Thalmic Labs Youtube channel, along with many other interesting videos.

Questions about any of the topics we discussed? We’d be happy to talk with you about them! Just stop by the library or send us an email at Info Expo is by far one of our favorite events to put on at the College of Medicine. It’s a lot of work, but definitely worth it once it’s all come together. We hope you all look forward to our next one!

Apps & Gadgets: Bonus Edition!

If you’ve RSVP’d to attend today’s HSL Info Expo Summer Technology Symposium, you’ll be hearing me talk about some exciting apps and gadgets for summer in our new segment, “Apps & Gadgets.” There are so many cool tools out there that it was hard to narrow it down to just a handful for a 10-minute segment. Instead of leaving some on the cutting room floor, we decided to share them with you here.

This is Apps & Gadgets: Bonus Edition!

Here are a few things you might want to check out before the summer is over.

Antec Sugar Cube Portable Speaker

This adorable little 2” x 2” x 2” Bluetooth speaker is tiny enough to keep on your desk, in your pocket, or in your purse. Use it to listen to high-quality music or phone calls. It comes in an array of bright colors, including my personal favorite, pink! Sugar Cube offers six hours of playback time and a range of up to 10 meters.

Buy it from Amazon for about $28 here.

Sugar Cube Bluetooth Speaker

Sugar Cube Bluetooth Speaker

Sky Guide App by Fifth Star Labs, LLC

Are you a stargazer? Planning on going camping this summer? Then you need to check out the amazing Sky Guide app! Sky Guide allows you to turn your iOS device into a mobile planetarium. Gaze up at the stars day or night, inside or outside. Just hold up your device to the sky and see where Ursa Minor, Taurus, Mercury, Venus, and other constellations and planets are hiding in the heavens.

Buy Sky Guide for iOs from the iTunes store for $1.99 here.

Sky Guide app

Sky Guide app


Goodreads App by Goodreads

Goodreads is the largest social media platform for readers and book lovers. This free app is a great way to discover book recommendations from your friends and peers. You can read thousands of book reviews, add titles to a virtual bookshelf, and create a to-read list. You can also add status updates and page number updates for books you’re reading – great for book clubs! You can even use the built-in barcode scanner to add your print books onto your Goodreads bookshelf. Links with Facebook so you can quickly add your friends to Goodreads.

Get the Goodreads app for free for Android from the Google Play Store here or for iOS from the iTunes store here.

Goodreads app

Goodreads app

If you’re coming to Info Expo today, we look forward to seeing you there! If not, be sure to RSVP for our next event in the winter. You don’t want to miss out on all the latest Apps & Gadgets!


Spotlight on Health: Lightning Safety!

Central Florida has had a lot of lightning-heavy storms the past few days or so. The radar images look pretty serious.

Plenty of folks also managed to capture pictures of the lightning in action; this picture of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom last Friday is particularly striking:

Interesting social media posts aside, it’s important to be safe each day during our typical Florida afternoon thunderstorms this summer. Here are some lighting myths and facts from the National Weather Service.

Myth: If you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm, you should crouch down to reduce your risk of being struck.
Fact: Crouching doesn’t make you any safer outdoors. Run to a substantial building or hard topped vehicle. If you are too far to run to one of these options, you have no good alternative. You are NOT safe anywhere outdoors.

Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building is hit nearly 100 times a year.

Myth: If it’s not raining or there aren’t clouds overhead, you’re safe from lightning.
Fact: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud. “Bolts from the blue” can strike 10-15 miles from the thunderstorm.

Myth: Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by insulating you from the ground.
Fact: Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires. Remember, convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, open-shelled outdoor recreational vehicles and cars with fiberglass shells offer no protection from lightning. When lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. Don’t lean on doors during a thunderstorm.

Myth: If trapped outside and lightning is about to strike, I should lie flat on the ground.
Fact: Lying flat increases your chance of being affected by potentially deadly ground current. If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, you keep moving toward a safe shelter.

You can read other myths and facts by visiting the National Weather Service website.

There’s a lot of open space between the Medical Education Building and the parking lot, so in the event of a serious storm, consider staying inside until it passes. There are also many apps you can download on your smart phone that will keep you up to date with the weather, and maybe give you a heads-up that it’s not yet safe to head to your car. If it’s really bad outside, better to be a little late then risk your safety.



Tech Talk Thursday: A Quick Preview of the Myo

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Myo ArmbandHats off to the savvy and forward thinking minds at Thalmic Labs where they have combined biometrics with technology. The Myo (pronounced “my-oh!”) is a gesture control armband that can be worn by business professionals, engineers, and gamers alike! By using sensors to read your arm’s ligament movements, the Myo acts as a hands free controller for your presentation, robot or droid, or (best of all) game! Bringing presentations to a whole new level, this new gadget is sure to impress!


There will be a live demo of the Myo at the HSL Info Expo – Summer  2015 Technology Symposium. Look out for your invitation soon!


To learn more about the Myo, follow this link:

Summer E-book Suggestions

Reading on the beachJuly is just around the corner, and July is also National Anti-boredom Month (yes, it’s true!). So to help bust your summer doldrums, here are some lists of e-books worth checking out on your tablet of choice.

Amazon Kindle – Top 100 FREE Kindle E-books

Amazon Kindle – Top 100 Paid Kindle E-books

Barnes & Noble – BN Top 100 Bestselling Nook Books

Goodreads – Best E-books

New York Times Best Sellers List – E-book Fiction

New York Times Best Sellers List – E-book Nonfiction

Happy summer reading!

Spotlight on Health: National Men’s Health Week

Get Active!June 15th – 21st marks National Men’s Health Week. Since 1994, this event has been celebrated the week leading up to Father’s Day and is a part of the grander Men’s Health Month, which is recognized throughout June. The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage detection and treatment of disease among men. It’s not just about dads though; it’s important to encourage all of the men you care about to live healthy lives, be they sons, best friends, boyfriends or co-workers! If you’re a guy, this is a good chance to turn the focus inward and assess if you’re being your healthiest you. Here are some ways, courtesy of the CDC, to do less of some things or quit others altogether to make health improvements.

1. Decrease alcohol use.
Men are more likely than women to drink heavily. Excessive alcohol use increases your risk of injury and cancer, can interfere with male hormone production and sexual function, and can result in hospitalizations, and death.

2. Quit using tobacco.
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and causes most lung cancer. It also causes other cancers and heart and respiratory diseases. In 2014, 26% of men used tobacco products every day or some days. If you are ready to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569 for Spanish speakers) or visit Quit Smoking for free resources, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live. Get tips from former smokers.

3. Avoid drowsy driving.
Up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers. Commercial drivers, shift workers, drivers with untreated sleep disorders or those using sedation medications, and drivers that do not get enough sleep are more likely to drive drowsy. Prevent drowsy driving. Get enough sleep to prevent drowsing driving—7 or 8 hours each night; seek treatment for possible sleep disorders, and refrain from drinking alcohol or taking sedation medications before driving.

4. Reduce number of sex partners.
Reducing your number of sex partners can decrease your risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Be sexually active with only one person who has agreed to be sexually active only with you. Get tested because most STDs don’t have symptoms and often go undiagnosed and untreated. Find free, fast, and confidential testing near you.

5. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet light. In 2011, more than 38,000 men in the United States were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin. To protect you and your family from the sun, seek shade, wear protective clothing and sunglasses, and wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.

6. Reduce stress
Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes you to feel threatened or anxious. Learn ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.


For more men’s health resources, you can visit the official National’s Men’s Health Month site, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, and the Men’s Health Network.

Try a new source for your health news this summer

Looking for a fresh place to get your health news this summer? Try from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This portal for all things health-related has a lot to offer, including daily headlines, an A to Z list of health topics, a weekly digest of new stories on various topics, and much more. Can’t remember when National Fruits & Veggies month is (Spoiler alertit’s September)? You can even find a list of national health observances. Stay connected by signing up to get all of your health news via the site’s many social media outlets, or subscribe to get information delivered to your email inbox. You can even read up about health care reform, or browse information on over 500 health subjects.


Check out for more easy-to-read and up-to-the-minute health news and information.

Tech Talk Thursday: Exploring a Device for Cluster Headache Stimulation Therapy

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Technological advances in medicine are diving into prevention and treatment of chronic headaches and migraines with an electronic implant! Autonomic Technologies, Inc. has created their own ATI Neurostimulation System, an implant that would be inserted in the upper gums of your mouth to stimulate the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) nerve bundle. While the exact cause of cluster headaches is unknown, the SPG is closely associated with the trigeminal nerve, which is the main nerve involved in headache disorders. During cluster headaches, pain signals carried by the trigeminal nerve pass through the SPG and sometimes trigger autonomic reactions like tearing of the eyes or nasal congestion.

Click here to see how it works! You could have a remote control for your face if you suffer from chronic headaches! Cool huh?

In November of 2013, Horizon Scanning Centre, part of the National Institute for Health Research, reported and predicted earliest commercial availability in the UK for the ATI Neurostimulation System would be over two years, and it looks like we’re getting close! In August 2014 ran an article about the first US patient to receive the implant for study. Other test subjects were also set up at the time. Currently data is being collected on these studies! If you know someone who suffers from debilitating chronic headaches or migraines…keep them in mind, hah!


Interested in Articles and Studies on this subject?

Long Term Safety of the ATI Neurostimulation System

Data Collection on the ATI Neurostimulation Stystem

European Results on Efficacy of ATI Neurostimulation System



Beyond the COM: May 2015 Conference Adventures! Part 2

We hope you enjoyed our post last week introducing the two conferences our library staff attended this month. This is Part 2 of that post, which focuses on our trip to Austin, Texas, for the Medical Library Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting.

Unlimited Potential at MLA 2015

Nadine Dexter, Michael Garner, Pamela (Pammy) Herring, and Melodie Gardner journeyed to Austin, Texas for the 2015 Medical Library Association annual conference. The conference began with an awesome lecture by the first African-American woman NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison. She captured the audience’s attention with her numerous Star Trek references (she was on an episode of ST:TNG and is an astronaut, so why not?), and kept them captivated with her talk on the 100 Year Starship program. For humans to get to the point where we can travel to the next galaxy, we’re going to have to think outside the box. As the world of medical libraries changes, Librarians will need to do the same.

Pammy, Michael, and Nadine presenting our poster

Pammy, Michael, and Nadine presenting our poster

Later in the day, we presented our poster, “Redefining the Role of the Library: Connecting Users to New Technologies for Education, Research, and Patient Care,” which shared the creation and implementation of the Library Technology Lab (LTL). The poster generated great interest, and we were able to share our findings and experiences with several other librarians.

Pammy spent most of the time in the exhibit hall speaking with vendors about new products, resource renewals, or simply saying hello to people we’ve only spoken with through email and telephone. It’s always nice to put a face to a name. When she wasn’t in the exhibit hall, she joined the rest of the gang in attending some fabulous lunch-and-learns, sessions, and technology showcases. Some of the major themes from the conference include: research collaboration, data management and sharing, re-defining library services, and engaging patrons both in the library and online.

One session Pammy attended was for the MLA Research Agenda Systematic Review Project. The project is 15 teams consisting of 10 librarians each examining a research question picked from the final result of a three-phase Delphi study. Pammy is a member of Team 6 and attended to support her group and listen to the updates on the projects of all the teams. The updates ran the gamut from successfully completed systematic reviews to teams disbanding due to team leader issues. If you would like to learn more about Team 6’s work, please check out their Google+ Community.

Of course, being Austin, we did find time to check out some of the awesome local cuisine while we were there. Check out some of the delicious meals below!