Dr Paul Fontelo, Director of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications at the NLM said “a conclusion of my work is that mobile apps work. If you have something, make a mobile app and it will work” while presenting a paper at the American Medical Informatics Association annual symposium in Washington.
The PubMed website has been around since 2002. The PubMedHh app was released during July 2012 and after six months saw total usage of three search tools, PICO (Patient/Problem, Intervention, Compared to, and Outcome), askMedicine, and BabelMeSh, leap by 280%.
“When an app is listed in iTunes, its visibility increases. People write about it in social media and reviews are written, so it is possible that some of the growth could have come from the increasing of the popularity for PubMedHh, leading to new users” says Fontelo. He believes that when useful, apps can be behavior changing.
NLM continues to optimize its PubMed4Hh app through short summaries of research activities which they called “TBL” (the bottom line). TBL is a short summary of an abstract that can fit within a 160 character text message. Fontelo says that TBL helps people find and share medical research easily with colleagues.