Digital Health Science Digest: Issue 17
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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- A recent Parks Associates report shows an increase in adoption of digital health/wellness devices among households that have a broadband connection – 33% of those households now have at least 1 connected device. What about those households without a broadband connection, you ask? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- …while we can’t find any information on digital health device adoption in that report, The Brookings Institution published a report on broadband adoption rates and gaps in the US.
- A new companion app to drug treatment is being tested by AstraZeneca and Voluntis. The app will allow patients undergoing ovarian cancer treatment to report treatment side effects and closely manage dosage.
- 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!
- A systematic review of apps to promote weight loss and physical activity found that compared with a control group, use of an app was associated with significant changes in body weight and BMI, but not physical activity. Twelve articles were included in the review.
- An RCT that tested the feasibility and clinical efficacy of 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 Acting Director of CMS, Andy Slavic, defended the agency’s IT platform for health exchanges at this week’s Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings.
- 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.
- Our Director, Gary Bennett, gave a talk about Improving Health, Digitally. This 10-minute video will change your life*
- 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.
- What are the benefits and limitations of algorithms in healthcare?
- 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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