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Txt2MEDLINE: Text-Messaging Access to MEDLINE/PubMed.
We developed a text messaging system for processing incoming Short Message Service (SMS) queries, retrieving medical journal citations from MEDLINE/PubMed and sending them back to the user in the text message format. A database of medical terminology abbreviations and acronyms was developed to reduce the size of text in journal citations and abstracts because of the 160-character per message limit of text messages. Queries may be sent as full-length terms or abbreviations. An algorithm transforms the citations into the SMS format. An abbreviated TBL (the bottom-line) summary instead of the full abstract is sent to the mobile device to shorten the resulting text. The system decreases citation size by 77.5 +/- 7.9%. Txt2MEDLINE provides physicians and healthcare personnel another rapid and convenient method for searching MEDLINE/PubMed through wireless mobile devices. It is accessible from any location worldwide where GSM wireless service is available.