Digital Health Science Digest: Issue 21

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

We have a new look! Telehealth services are getting support from a bipartisan Senate bill as well as the private sector, digital health may be crucial to containing Zika, and more! 

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 21



  • Seeing an emerging currently underserved Spanish-speaking mobile healthcare market, ConsejoSano and Mercer have teamed up to offer a subscription-based telehealth service for the 54 million Latino healthcare users in the US. According to the CEO of ConsejoSano, 70% of Spanish speakers seek healthcare solutions outside their health plan, because it doesn’t fit their needs. 
  • Dr. Eric Topol recently interviewed Dr. Donna Spruijt-Metz about mobile data collection and behavior change. Check out their exchange here


  • More evidence for the “you use it, you lose it” digital health hypothesis: researchers designed a chronic disease prevention and management intervention comprised of coaching calls and personalized text messages. They tested it among 637 adults in low-resource urban settings in Latin America. Results showed a “dose-response” effect, where those who took more calls lost more weight and improved diets than both the usual care group and those who took fewer calls. 


  • A new bill has been introduced in the Senate to expand telemedicine coverage through Medicare benefits. The bill would lift some restrictions on when and where patients and doctors can connect with each other. The bill has the potential to save the federal government $1.8 billion over 10 years.
  • Massachusetts is using analytics to create an early warning system for drug abuse in the state, with the goal of helping to prevent drug overdoses from both prescription and illicit drugs.


  • The new MEDx Mobile and Wireless Technology Colloquium is hosting a kickoff meeting for Duke faculty, staff, and students who are interested in the intersection of medicine and engineering. Tuesday, 2/9 2pm in Gross 270 Find out more here! 
  • mHealth@Duke is accepting applications for the 2nd Annual Shark Tank! Enter your idea for a chance to “swim with the [mHealth] sharks” and win $1,000! Applications are due 2/26.
  • The Duke Center for Addiction Science and Technology (CfAST) is seeking an Assistant Professor with research interests in mHealth and related areas including personalized medicine, telemedicine, real-time adaptive interventions, and/or behavior sensing. 


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