Digital Health Science Digest: Issue 10

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

It’s our 10th Issue-versary! New look, new events section, and lots of news!

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 10




  • According to a new paper published by researchers at Duke Digital Health (aka us!), African American women who attributed their weight gain to their genes at baseline performed better in a weight management intervention. In addition, at the end of the 12-month intervention, women in the intervention were less likely than those in the usual care group to attribute their weight to their genes. 
  • Results from a qualitative study serve as a good reminder that patients may not be as excited about tracking their health data as we get about helping them do it. Patients who have multiple chronic conditions may see health tracking as being “reminded that they’re sick.”  (h/t Ryan Shaw, DUSON)
  • A recent survey found that nearly all millennials use a smartphone, without significant discrepancies along racial/ethnic lines. There’s no mention in the report of smartphone ownership by income or other measures of wealth or education, so it’s hard to say too much about whether smartphones are closing the digital divide, but this is a promising sign, at least!


  • Support is gaining in Congress for the TELE-MED Act of 2015, which would allow Medicare providers to serve patients across state lines, taking advantage of telemedicine capability.
  • The General Services Administration reached an agreement with Yelp to put federal agencies on the list of places that can be reviewed. This is a great model for how non-tech companies can leverage existing technology to meet their needs. Maybe Yelp isn’t the most natural fit in terms of topic area (what do your neighborhood Chinese restaurant and the DMV have in common, except that they both may be in the same mall?), but customers already use Yelp to leave reviews, so why re-create the wheel? It’s a really great model for digital health, we think. And most importantly, now we can’t wait to see whether the DMV wait times improve! 


  • Happy Labor Day! 

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