Apple ResearchKit: A Health App Framework to Advance Medical Research

By developing an iOS app using ResearchKit, for the first time, researchers can efficiently recruit a large number of geographically different study participants to carry out clinical studies.  Developers within CDC’s Informatics Innovation Unit (IIU) created a prototype ResearchKit app to examine its capabilities and potential application to public health.

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Google Cardboard: Virtual Reality Made Simple

Google Cardboard is an inexpensive, fun and accessible virtual reality (VR) experience using your mobile phone. IIU created a prototype Google Cardboard App. Download it from App Lab (log-in required).

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Deciding Where to Invest: Responsive Web vs. Native Mobile Technology

The tech community is debating the question of whether to use a responsive website or a native mobile app.

The answer is, “it depends.” Before deciding, ask who the user is and what do they want to do? Once you know, the information below can help you determine which technology to use.

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The evolution of HL7 Standards: V2 to FHIR

HL7 is the abbreviation for the term, Health Level-7.   The organization, HL7, provides international standards for the structuring and transmission of clinical and administrative data in the healthcare domain.   One HL7 interoperability specification used for many years has been version 2.x, otherwise known as V2.  V2 has been a standard used to codify medical (led by billing) information and transmit it between computerized medical systems. The standard was developed and finalized during the 1980s, and thus was optimized for lower memory and storage usage in the very early stages of networked computing; thus it was an implicitly typed flat-file.

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Using Git for an Effective Development Workflow

Overview The following is an outline of the branching, merging, and workflow conventions that can help development teams manage parallel feature development and release management. This workflow style is taken directly from­successful-git­branching­model/ Please visit that site to read the full­ length post on the details of this method.

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Team Insights for other developers: Angular Filters: Things of Nifty

Here are some thoughts from one our lead web developers, while working on one of our new web applications…..

…all the time I spent working (climbing up the learning curve) with the AngularJS location manager was made up today when I discovered how pleasant angular filters were.  Our team currently stores several of our labels and attributes as ‘camelCase’ and I wanted to have a quick JavaScript algorithm that would use a RegEx to turn them into everyday readable text.  I started by coding up an unCamelCase function in the main controller… and then another team member told me, “This seems like a situation where you could use an Angular Filter”.

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Creating a Javascript (JQuery) powered application-in-page

As part of the MMWR Express project, the team created a new web resource, “Photon Admin.”  Photon Admin is a Javascript (JQuery) powered application-in-page built to tranform MMWR article blue-boxes into JSON ‘Blobs’ that can be easily consumed by the MMWR Express mobile application.  The blobs generated by Photon Admin – affectionately referred to as  “Blob The Builder” are then posted to a feed via CDC’s Content Syndication service  (akin to a CDC hosted “feedburner” account) – where the information can then be consumed by MMWR Express.

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Open Source Development for Public Health Informatics

Open Source development is a viable option for public health informatics software development. While specific open source licenses should be selected based on individual project requirements, the R&D Lab uses the Apache Public License v2 (ASL) for many of its projects.

For those who are unfamiliar with Open Source- you may enjoy watching this 5 minute video using LEGOS.  (link)

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