Digital Health Science Digest: Issue 17

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

Happy Holidays! In this issue: a companion app to help patients deal with cancer treatment side effects, track your calorie burn by breathing into your smartphone, and a life-changing video*! 

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 17



  • Want to lose weight? This new app will help you do that, but only if you let it smell your breath! For health! And science!


  • An RCT that tested the feasibility and clinical efficacy Source: FlowyGame.comof Flowy, a game to help people manage anxiety, found high enough engagement to “sufficiently endorse proactive gameplay” and reductions in anxiety, panic, and self-report hyperventilation scores. Reductions were noted in both trial arms, though the intervention arm reported a greater quality of life.
  • A cost-effectiveness evaluation of an Internet-based depression intervention found that, as part of a stepped care model, the myCompass intervention can provide cost-effective access to treatment for depression.
  • A web-based, algorithm-driven tool to help teens and young adults living in low-income areas define and prioritize areas of need found healthcare access and food security to be 2 of the top 3 most prevalent problems (the third was housing). The tool connected users with resources and on follow-up, 40% had contacted a selected agency for assistance. Almost half (47%) of participants also reported resolving their problem. 


  • The #NetNeutrality fight is back in court – and one of the judges “actually” owns a smartphone!
  • Health insurers, spurred to action by ACA regulations, are and will continue to be major players in digital health, helping to catalyze the field, invest in effective solutions, and influence policy, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan. 


  • Check out these two recent articles about the future of digital health, both of which point out the need to design solutions for hard-to-reach, historically disconnected populations. 
  • We’re conducting an evaluation of a health-focused Facebook page called Pro Mujer Salud, designed for the employees of a Latin America-based financial services organization (Pro Mujer). We’re also blogging about it. Check out our first installment! Special thanks to Duke-based SEAD, the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke, for funding to complete this work!

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