Mobile MedlinePlus Launched
The government's hugely popular health information site has rolled out a new version for mobile device users. Down a bit from its peak, the site still attracts more than 10 million unique visitors per month.
A new version of the hugely popular MedlinePlus site has been created for mobile device users. MedlinePlus, started in 1998 by the nation's largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine, was up to 4 million monthly page views two years later and to 40 million page views per month in year five. The latest usage numbers posted on the site show it achieved 164 million page views and 31.5 million unique visitors in the July-September 2009 quarter -- great numbers, although its usage in both categories was higher in 2007-08. NLM is part of the National Institutes of Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mobile MedlinePlus will be a valuable information source for laypeople and medical professionals who are increasingly turning to mobile communications devices, according to NIH, which said the mobile Internet audience almost doubled from February 2007 to February 2009. "We know that a huge number of people are seeking good health information on the Web," said NLM Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg. "What better way to reach out to them than by offering this new mobile service, which delivers trustworthy, consumer-friendly information instantly, anywhere?"
Mobile MedlinePlus is available in English and Spanish (http://m.medlineplus.gov/spanish). It offers a subset of content from the full MedlinePlus site, which includes summaries for more than 800 diseases, wellness topics, health news, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, and information on prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
"For instance, you could visit the 'Talking With Your Doctor' page on Mobile MedlinePlus to learn how to get the most out of your doctor's visit," the agency's news release said. "Mobile MedlinePlus can also help you when you're trying to choose an over-the-counter cold medicine at the drug store. And if you're traveling abroad, you can use Mobile MedlinePlus to learn about safe drinking water."