Announcing our Digital Health Science Digest!
This bimonthly digest includes a carefully cultivated list of new publications, policy news, and other fun digital health science stuff.
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Issue 1: The Pre-Issue Issue
- You guys all heard about ResearchKit, right? Our director, Dr. Gary Bennett, had a lot to say about it.
- WhatsApp announced it would not release an API of its own. Developers heaved a sigh heard ’round the world, and so did we.
- The debate about the value of commercial health apps continues, this month in the New York Times
- A few months before unveiling ResearchKit, Apple told the FDA that it “sees mobile technology platforms as an opportunity for people to learn more about themselves. With the potential for more sensors on mobile devices, Apple believes there is the opportunity to do more with devices, and that there may be a moral obligation to do more.” (emphasis ours) – maybe that moral obligation influenced the decision to build the wall between a consumer’s health data and the Apple backend? Either way, we’re glad they built it. More on the genesis of Research Kit here
- The White House and USDA are making moves to bring faster Internet to Americans, especially in rural areas. This is great considering 10% of Americans still have no broadband access at home, according to a Pew Research Center report.
- Last week, the House passed a bill that would make changes to Medicare, including:
- Changes in the reimbursement structure for doctors – based on service quality, rather than volume.
- The Children’s Health Insurance Program would be extended for two years. This is good news, since a new study published in Health Affairs reports that if it wasn’t renewed, “enrollees in single coverage employer-sponsored plans could pay up to $11,829 a year to add 2 or more dependent children to their insurance.” Ouch.
- Some higher-income Medicare beneficiaries would be required to pay higher premiums.
- Researchers at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston created anmHealth App Repository that will allow for meta-analysis of health-related apps.
- Study finds that SMS is a feasible & accepted adjunct therapy for low-income minority mothers with postpartum depression.
- Systematic review of digital health interventions among cancer survivors finds evidence for successful adoption of physical activity, dietary improvements, and weight control behaviors for cancer survivors. Interventions reviewed were delivered via telephone, web, and print.
- Study finds relationship between daily mood scores (rated via SMS) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), a clinic-based depression assessment; holds promise for using SMS as a useful clinical proxy for the PHQ-9, specifically among low-income, Spanish-speaking populations.
- Systematic review and meta-analysis of technology based weight management treatments found significantly greater weight loss in digital health interventions as compared to control. The more bells and whistles the better. Still not enough data to make statements for weight loss maintenance or weight gain prevention.
- Apple Watch competitors have arrived, and they’re less fancy but cheaper (cheap enough for research, maybe?)
- Someone made an infographic about health technology at SXSW, it’s pretty cool.
- We have a bunch of events coming up!
- Friday, April 3, 3:30pm: Shark Tank competition
- Friday, April 10, 2pm: Roundtable on social media and patient engagement
- Tuesday, April 14, 12-1pm: DGHI Journal Club on digital health with Dr. Sara LeGrand, How is Candy Crush Related to Health Behavior Change? Gamification and mHealth
- Wednesday, April 15, 9am-5pm: 3rd annual mHealth@Duke conference