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Table of Contents: 2012 MARCH–APRIL No. 385

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Showcase of NLM APIs - Free Webinar

Potash S. Showcase of NLM APIs - Free Webinar. NLM Tech Bull. 2012 Mar-Apr;(385):e1.

2012 March 23 [posted]
2012 March 30 [corrected]

Software developers are invited to join NLM data experts as they showcase NLM APIs and provide valuable information on how to find, use, and incorporate medical literature, drug, clinical trial, consumer health information, molecular biology, and other data into novel products.

The free webinar, NLM API Showcase: Using NLM APIs for Product Development, will be held April 10, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (ET). There are several options for participating:

  • Adobe Connect: Available to the first 300 people, provides the opportunity to submit questions, will be available at:
    [Information corrected on March 30, 2012.]
  • NIH Videocast: Can be viewed live and will be archived at
  • On site: Lister Hill Center Auditorium, first floor of Building 38A on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, MD. Directions and visitor information.
  • Follow the webinar with live tweets, and submit questions for the experts, @nlm_newsroom using hashtag #nlmapi

The webinar is a prelude to the Health Data Initiative Forum III June 5-6, 2012 at the Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC. Forum attendees will have several opportunities to meet NLM data experts and learn even more about the Library’s resources.

NLM API Showcase will highlight the following NLM resources:

  • E-utilities:
    E-utilities are a set of server-side APIs that provide access to searching, linking and downloading Entrez System data outside of the regular Web query interfaces. These data span a broad spectrum including biomedical literature databases (e.g. PubMed and PMC), sequence analysis, chemicals and bioassays, and others.
    Presenter: Eric Sayers
  • MedlinePlus:
    MedlinePlus Connect lets electronic health record (EHR) systems use standard clinical vocabularies to bring users health information from The MedlinePlus API provides access to MedlinePlus health topic data in XML format. The service accepts keyword searches as requests and returns links to relevant English-language health topics in ranked order. The output also includes supplemental data such as health topic summaries, related vocabulary, and keyword-in-context snippets.
    Presenter: Loren Frant
  • Unified Medical Language Systems (UMLS):
    The new UMLS Terminology Services (UTS) API 2.0 will provide the ability to search from, retrieve, and filter the over 150 vocabularies of the UMLS Metathesaurus, as well as the Semantic Network. A beta version of the new API should be available in early April. The UMLS integrates key terminology, classification and coding standards such as SNOMED CT, RxNorm, ICD9CM, ICD10CM, etc. into a single unified concept structure and encourages the application development of information retrieval, natural language processing, creation of patient and research data, and the development of enterprise-wide vocabulary services.
    Presenter: Steve Emrick
  • RxNorm:
    RxNorm provides normalized names for clinical drugs and links its names to many of the drug vocabularies commonly used in pharmacy management and drug interaction software. There are two RxNorm APIs (SOAP/WSDL and RESTful) available to provide developers with functions for retrieving RxNorm data from the most current RxNorm dataset.
    Presenter: Olivier Bodenreider
    API provides methods for creating links to or downloading data in XML format. Obtain information including a trial's purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details about clinical trials being conducted throughout the United States and in many countries throughout the world.
    Presenter: Nick Ide
  • ChemSpell:
    The ChemSpell Web Service API provides chemical name spell checking and chemical name synonym look-up. ChemSpell contains more than 1.3 million chemical names related to organic, inorganic, pharmaceutical, toxicological, and environmental health topics.
    Presenter: David Hale
    DIRLINE API offers a RESTful Web Service API that allows users to search the Directory of Health Organizations (DIRLINE) database with keywords. DIRLINE contains location and descriptive information about a wide variety of information resources including organizations, research resources, projects, and databases concerned with health and biomedicine.
    Presenter: David Hale
  • Pillbox:
    Pillbox beta is a solid dosage pharmaceutical "pill" identification and reference system utilizing data from the Food and Drug Administration Structured Product Labels (SPL) and the National Library of Medicine RxNorm with high-resolution images of medications. The API (RESTful Web service) provides access to the identification system, data, and medication images. Medications can be identified by physical characteristics (imprint, size, shape, etc.), as well as drug name (brand or generic), inactive ingredients, drug label author, and DEA schedule and returns XML-formatted data.
    Presenter: David Hale
  • Metamap:
    MetaMap is a highly configurable program used to map biomedical text to the UMLS Metathesaurus or, equivalently, to discover Metathesaurus concepts referred to in text. Users can download MetaMap and process their data locally. For the downloaded version of MetaMap, there are two API methods designed to allow users to directly access the locally running MetaMap from within their own applications: MetaMap Java API and the MetaMap UIMA Annotator.
    Presenter: Jim Mork
  • Medical Text Indexer:
    The Medical Text Indexer (MTI) system consists of software for applying alternative methods of discovering MeSH headings for citation titles and abstracts and then combining them into an ordered list of recommended indexing terms.
    Presenter: Jim Mork

For more information about NLM APIs please contact customer service.

By Shana Potash
Office of Communications and Public Liaison

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