Duke Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 73

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

In this issue of the Digital Health Science Digest: Uber – but for a doctor’s appointment, automated text messaging to increase vaccination rates, and more!

The Digital Health Science Digest is a bimonthly newsletter compiled by Duke Digital Health. We bring you the most interesting research publications, policy news, and other fun digital health science stuff.  

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Issue 73



A new survey shows that health app adoption has tripled in the past 4 years. The survey also offered some insights into how patients view digital health and telemedicine in the context not only of convenience, but also health risk and condition severity. 

Uber recently launched a new dashboard – called Uber Health – that will allow medical and administrative staff at hospitals and healthcare practices to order Uber rides for their patents, even up to 30 days in advance. The new dashboard tools are HIPAA-compliant. According to the article, some studies estimate that 3.6 million Americans miss healthcare appointments due to lack of reliable transportation.

Michigan State University and University of Maryland have developed a non-intrusive blood pressure device that links to a smartphone. Soon, people could be able to check their blood pressure just by pressing on a sensor that’s attached to their smartphone. This might be a welcome innovation, especially since the Health Care Cost Institute recently estimated that between 2010 and 2030 costs related to hypertension are expected to rise by almost 3 times


Can a customized, automated text messaging system improve routine immunization uptake and timeliness in Pakistan? 

Results from a 3-month pilot found that the Sweetch app improved physical activity and promoted weight loss among adults with pre-diabetes. 

Patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy, a bariatric procedure for weight loss, often have high rates of weight regain. A text message-based intervention that sent 1 text message every day for 1 year resulted in less weight regain over the course of that year.  


The Bipartisan Policy Center and Health IT Now group published a report calling for an oversight framework that ensures the government focuses on upholding core consumer safety protections while allowing other health IT functions to sit in the private sector. 

Wondering what the White House Science and Tech Office has been up to? Find out here.

Grab Bag

The LiveWell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center is sponsoring an app development competition for middle, high school, and college students as well as non-professional developers. The app challenge is intended to promote awareness of the need for assistive and accessible technologies by fostering innovation. Submissions are due May 1. More information and guidelines here!  

Upcoming Events

Digital Health Rules & Regulations: An Overview of FDA Guidelines
This seminar is open to Duke faculty, staff, and students, and will give an overview of the FDA’s approach to regulating mobile medical apps and software. Participants are encouraged to bring a mobile device to participate in case scenarios. Light breakfast will be served.
Tuesday, March 20th 9-10am
Duke North 2003
Sign up here!

Digital Health Happy Hour
Join Digital Health in the Triangle for a Happy Hour focused on digital health solutions to the opioid crisis.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 5p – 7p
The Chesterfield, 701 W. Main St, Durham
More info and register here

Bridging Population Health at Duke
This conference is open to Duke faculty, staff, and students, and aims to coalesce the Duke community around a shared vision of improving health through innovative research and advanced care.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 12p – 5p
Great Hall, Trent Semans Center for Health Education Registration is required

If you’d like to submit an event or article for us to publish in our digest, please send at least 3 weeks before the event to: erica.levine@duke.edu

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