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Vol. LIX, No. 16
August 10, 2007

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Adding Video to the Mix
NIH Offers Monthly Vodcasts

Dr. Emely Chew, National Eye Institute Dr. Dean Medcalfe, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The monthly "i on NIH" vodcast features Internet-accessible health information, including the latest research on eye health and allergy management.

NIH has always been at the forefront of medical research and technology. That message has consistently been conveyed through print, television and radio. Now, as media technology continues to grow, NIH is making a point to keep up with the ever-developing information age.

Recently, the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison began adding a monthly vodcast to its repertoire of media outlets used to share research developments and discoveries. Vodcasting is a digital recording similar to the downloadable sound files of a podcast. Besides sound, however, vodcasts add video to the mix, creating a rich visual experience for the user.

"A driving force behind the decision to start the vodcast came from both the News Media Branch's experience and success with the audio podcast, and the realization that more and more information over the Internet is communicated with video as well as audio, images and text," said John Burklow, NIH associate director for communications and public liaison.

Vodcasts can be downloaded and saved from the Internet to a computer or personal media device such as a video iPod. This makes it possible for users to be in control of the time and manner in which they choose to watch the vodcast.

The first NIH vodcast was produced and aired online in April. Since then, the vodcasts have become monthly productions. "There are a lot of benefits to having a monthly vodcast," said Calvin Jackson, chief of the OCPL News Media Branch. "One is that video and the format of 'i on NIH' allow a very dynamic way to tell stories, share news and bring information to the public. A great advantage of a vodcast over other media is that it is both visual and easily accessible all over the world via the Internet."

The vodcasts typically contain three main segments and last about 20-30 minutes. Episodes have included the Discovery Channel's Young Scientist Challenge, coverage from the NHLBI Heart Truth's Red Dress Project and Fashion Show, the HBO documentary series Addiction, HIV Vaccine Awareness Day and the "Be the Generation" HIV vaccine education initiative and staying safe under the summer sun. Each episode includes an in-depth interview with an NIH researcher and briefs from NIH News in Health and Research Matters.

"I'm sure the viewership of 'i on NIH' will grow," said Joseph Balintfy, OCPL public affairs specialist. "We're getting better at producing each episode and keep finding more and more interesting topics to report on from all corners of medical research and NIH." Viewers can subscribe to the vodcast at or watch the program on their computer via a direct link. NIH will soon also have a major presence on YouTube with a dedicated medical/science channel. NIH Record Icon

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