NLM to Host “Hackathon” to Make Lactation/Medication Information More Usable
This is a neat little tidbit: The National Library of Medicine is apparently planning what they’re calling a “hackathon” to make data on medications and breastfeeding more readily available.
There is already the LactMed database from NLM which provides pretty detailed summaries of the possible effects of prescription and OTC drugs on lactation and breastfeeding infants. Unfortunately, this rich data source doesn’t look very user friendly and I think is not very widely known about by the general public.
According to this Government Health IT piece, NLM plans to invite:
a variety of interested parties to the event, including data experts, researchers from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, representatives of the La Leche League, pediatricians, breastfeeding mothers who blog and experts on Web services and application programming interfaces.
Then these folks are going to spend a day talking about how to take LactMed apart and put it back together in more user-friendly ways. I have recommended LactMed as a data source to folks before, but it’s definitely not the most welcoming interface. This process has the potential to make really useful information more widely known and much more usable, so I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of it this fall!