Digital Health Science Digest: Issue 7

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

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 7



  • Local Shoutout! Triangle-based, women-owned Thrive 4-7 recently launched an app focused on “empowering women” to improve self-care and mental health. The app, Mevii, incorporates evidence-based intervention components and is being offered for free in beta right now. Congratulations! We just downloaded the app and can’t wait to try it out. 

  • Wearables are entering the mental health sphere: Spire helps users track (and manage) stress by monitoring breathing patterns and giving users feedback and tools to manage their breathing.

  • Global Digital Health Dispatch: Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, India, recently launched a digital health card. It is the size of a credit card and contains a microchip that houses all of a patient’s health and medical information.


  • The US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a new program, #ConnectHome last week in Durham. The initiative provides subsidized or free Internet connections to low-income households all over the US, including about 2,000 households right here in Durham, NC.

  • Did you know that left turns account for 25% of all pedestrian crashes, nationwide? To address this, New York City council members are requesting that Google maps change its algorithm to minimize the number of left-turns it recommends. No word yet from Google…

  • There’s good news and bad news out from recent analyses of Oregon’s Medicaid lottery, according to Health Affairs. Specifically, while enrollment in Medicaid increased the likelihood that people reported themselves to be in good or excellent health by 24%, certain objective measures of health (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar) did not improve significantly.


  • Tele-dietetics can be an effective and cost-effective alternative to in-person sessions, according to a recent RCT conducted in Hong Kong.

  • Researchers at the Urban Institute found that doctor visits by patients on Medicaid were less likely to include a breast exam or Pap test than visits by patients who were privately insured. While it is possible that patients were receiving additional services at a community health clinic or by another provider, the study highlights what we already know about our current reimbursement model: when doctors get reimbursed more for a service, they’re going to provide it more often. 

  • 84% of teens report using the Internet to look up health information, according to a survey conducted at Northwestern University.  

  • Building mHealth capacity in Guatemala can lower maternal and child mortality rates in rural areas, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare.


  • #DGHIPride! Congratulations to DGHI, and thank you to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their generous $30 million gift to fund global health education and research

  • A new app from the Health Sciences Library at UNC, i2b2, gives researchers access to a stripped sandbox of UNC Health Care data for analysis. 

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