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National Library of Medicine Creates Haiti Earthquake People Locator

New Interactive Web Site Helps Reunite Family Members and Loved Ones

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest medical library and an arm of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announces the release of the Haiti Earthquake People Locator (HEPL), a new system that can assist in the reunification of family members and loved ones during the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti. HEPL consists of an interactive Web site that provides information about people who have been found in Haiti or who are still missing after the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. The site allows members of the public to search for people who have been located by medical staff and other relief workers in Haiti as well as to voluntarily post information about people who are still missing. Medical and relief personnel in the region can submit photographs and descriptive information about located people via computer, cell phone, or a specialized "Found in Haiti" iPhone application that was developed by the NLM. Using data from this app, the site can even show the GPS coordinates of the spot where he was found. The HEPL system also has a meta-search engine, allowing it to simultaneously search multiple sites set up by CNN, Google and the International Red Cross.

The HEPL system, developed by NLM's Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, shares information with other person finder systems, including the one recommended by the US Department of State (Google's Person Finder), to ensure that all searches operate across the largest possible set of matches. Based in part on the open-source Sahana disaster management system, HEPL's technology was developed by the NLM as part of its R&D contribution to the Bethesda Hospitals Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BHEPP), a collaboration of the NLM, the NIH Clinical Center, the National Naval Medical Center and Suburban Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine, to improve emergency response capabilities in the National Capital Region and also serve as a model for the nation.

Haiti Earthquake People Locator (HEPL): http://hepl.nlm.nih.gov.