Digital Health Science Digest: Issue 11

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

Closing urban-rural gaps in EHR infrastructure, Duke pride, and new research on physical activity promotion, Latinos & mHealth, and how adolescents use the Internet to find sexual health information! 

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 11




  • According to recent data from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS), at least 94% of small and rural hospitals either have or are planning to buy an EHR system. Even more promising, they’re keeping up with meaningful-use regulations at similar rates to large and urban hospitals. Yay for closing disparities in digital health! 
  • Results from a physical activity promotion intervention in primary care found that counseling plus digital health tools (an app and a wearable) increased physical activity among patients with COPD and type 2 diabetes. 
  • A recent literature review published in Sexuality Education highlights how adolescents use the Internet to answer questions about sex and sexual health. It also offers suggestions about how to improve interventions aimed at this population.  
  • A review of diabetes mHealth apps in the context of usability for Latinos in the US found that out of the 20 most popular diabetes apps, 1/3 are available in Spanish. In addition, it found (based on a survey of 1600 Latinos) that use of diabetes apps in this population is very low (3.6%).


  • #DukePride President Obama nominated Robert Califf as the next commissioner of the FDA. Dr. Califf is the founding director of Duke Clinical Research Institute. Go Duke! 
  • Speaking of the FDA, it isn’t the only government body that has oversight over digital health. Did you know that the Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction over non-HIPAA covered institutions?
  • #ForYourReference The Center for Connected Health Policy has telehealth policies listed by state.


  • #humblebrag Our director, Gary Bennett, was featured in the Kenan Institute of Ethics “Good Question” series at the beginning of the year. Check him out
  • The Duke Translational Research Institute is accepting applications for pilot funding. Applications are due October 30th. 
  • Can you get upskilled with a nanodegree from Udacity?  (Don’t worry, we didn’t understand any of those words either!)

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