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Dr Patricia Flatley Brennan on Technology's Impact on the National Library of Medicine

Advances in technology has had a profound impact on the National Library of Medicine and allows the use of virtual reality to deliver information in new ways to patients, explained Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, director of the National Library of Medicine.


Advances in technology has had a profound impact on the National Library of Medicine; for instance, it has allowed the use of virtual reality to deliver information in new ways to patients, explained Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, director of the National Library of Medicine.

Transcript

With greater leaps in technology, how do you see the role of the National Library of Medicine changing?

Oh my goodness! We're going to be distributing our information in all sorts of ways and to all sorts of places. So even right now, because we have multiple platforms for viewing Web-based information, we've embraced a concept called responsive design so that each of our presentations is made relative to the device it's being viewed on. So you don't see pages scrolling over the side. Important information is presented higher up or earlier on a page.

In addition to that though we are, in my own research program, which is housed at the National Institute for Nursing Research, is using virtual reality to examine new way sof delivering information to patients. No necessarily by requiring them to read it, but maybe by altering the information in the environment or actually altering the environment itself. For example, as anxiety levels go up, as voice capture suggests that someone is becoming more distressed, altering the lighting in the room would be an automatic way where the information that we know—relaxation spaces can assist people who are becoming anxious—make the information actionable in practice without requiring the individual to read it.

I also envision that we'll be using very many different dissemination platforms. So right now we tend to focus a lot on professional journals and Web-based dissemination, but we're increasing our use of video, we're increasing our ability to provide small podcasts for individuals. Our information can be delivered in highly individualized but broad-based dissemination.

 
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