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 July 15, 2003 [posted]
 PubMed® Available for Use on Handheld, Wireless Devices

drop cap letter for t he National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) has a new, free Web application designed to help healthcare professionals search PubMed, read journal abstracts, and access using their wireless, handheld computers.

You can choose among these three functions from the application's home page, found at [April 8, 2006: This link was removed because it is no longer valid.] (see Figure 1).

  Figure 1: PubMed for Handheld Wireless Devices

Searching PubMed
When you click on the "Search MEDLINE/PubMed" link available on the application's home page, you reach a screen from which you can search PubMed with no filters, or you can narrow your search using the Systematic Reviews or Clinical Queries filters (see Figure 2).

  Figure 2: Search PubMed with or without Filters

Viewing Journal Article Abstracts
When you click on the "Read new Journal Abstracts" link, you are taken to a screen that allows you to view abstracts of articles published in the journals that make up PubMed's core clinical journals subset (see Figure 3).

  Figure 3: Search for Abstracts from Core Clinical Journals

You can search for abstracts using two different methods. At the top of the screen, you can choose from one of 28 of the journals, which are listed by NLM title abbreviation in a pull-down menu, and then click the "Display abstracts" button. Or, if the journal whose abstracts you'd like to view is not among those listed in the pull-down menu, you can enter any part of the journal's title (or the NLM title abbreviation) into the search box on the lower half of the screen (see Figure 4), and then click the "Search journal title" button, to retrieve a list of all the core clinical journals that contain the word(s) entered (see Figure 5).

  Figure 4: Search Using Terms from Any Part of Journal Title
  Figure 5: Retrieve List of Core Clinical Journal Titles with Matching Term

From the list of journals you retrieve, you then click on the journal title of your choice to see the abstracts from that journal. Often, the most current abstracts will appear at the top of your results list.

This application also provides access to, a database with information on clinical research studies (see Figure 6).

  Figure 6: You Can Access the <em/></em> Focused Search Screen

Application Requirements
The application is platform independent, working with Palm OS®, PocketPC®, and Linux® personal digital assistants (PDAs). It is compatible with most commonly used Web browsers, including, but not limited to AvantGo®, Blazer®, Eudora Web®, WebPro®, Internet Explorer® and Netscape®.

Using this application requires no new file installation; it does not take up space in the PDA's memory, apart from in the browser's cache. It has been tested with 802.11b networking protocols, Bluetooth Wireless Technology®, InfraRed PDA Connect®, as well as wireless modem and desktop synch technologies.

NLM is eager to receive feedback to continue to improve this product. To offer comments on the PubMed application for handheld computers, please use the site's [April 8, 2006: This link was removed because it is no longer valid.] link, which leads to a checklist that requires little text input.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Fontelo, MD, MPH
High Performance Computing and Communications
National Library of Medicine
Bethesda, MD 20894

Read More
To read more about the use of handheld devices to access PubMed and other information sources in a wireless setting, see:

Fontelo P, Ackerman M, Kim G, Locatis, C.
PDA as a portal to knowledge sources in a wireless setting.
Telemed J E Health. 2003 Summer;9(2):141-7.

Julie Stetson
MEDLARS Management Section

black line separting article from citation

Stetson JS. PubMed® Available for Use on Handheld, Wireless Devices. NLM Tech Bull. 2003 Jul-Aug;(333):e5.


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Last updated: 19 April 2012