Digital Health Science Digest: Issue 23

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

A new report is out discussing designing digital health interventions for medically vulnerable populations! Social networks may be a viable tool for promoting weight loss! And more, in this week’s digest! 

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.  

More here:

Subscribe here to get these digests direct to your inbox! 

Like it? Click here to forward this email to a friend

Issue 23



  • Check out this report from the California Healthcare Foundation, “Digitizing the Safety Net,” which discusses opportunities for designing for low-income, medically vulnerable populations. 
  • About a third of hospitals have started using texting, according to the 2016 HIMSS Connected Health Survey. About 50% of hospitals currently use three or more connected health technologies. This Health Populi blog post has more stats and a link to the full report. 


  • A systematic review of weight management interventions delivered via (online) social networks found that all 5 studies it reviewed reported a reduction in baseline weight. However, only 1 reported a “clinically significant” weight loss of 5% or more on average. Studies with personal support from a health educator reported better outcomes.
  • A new framework to maximize recruitment, engagement, and retention of participants into a RCT is proposed in this paper. The framework integrates “best practices from information technology, marketing, and clinical research.” #shoutout to last year’s mHealth@Duke conference keynote speaker, Dr. Kevin Patrick!


  • Policy Proposal: Lower the price of fruits and vegetables by 30%. Why? It can save nearly 200,000 lives — roughly the population of Des Moines, Iowa.
  • There is an upcoming vote on providing Internet subsidies for low-income Americans. The FCC already offers the Lifeline program, but is considering extending the subsidies to Internet service. A group of ISPs, wireless carriers and public interest groups sent a letter supporting the plan, with reforms, including removing the burden on telecommunications carriers for deciding whether customers are eligible for the program.

Grab bag

  • mHealth@Duke is accepting abstracts for a poster session to be held during the annual conference on April 20th. Apply here by April 4th
  • Speaking of mHealth@Duke, this year’s conference theme is Mobile and Digital Technology in the New Era of Precision Medicine and Population Health and confirmed speakers include:
    • Bill Riley, PhD, Director, OBSSR at NIH
    • Donna Spruijt-Metz, MFA, PhD, Director, USC mHealth Collaboratory
    • J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, Associate Professor of Community Health & Sustainability, NCSU
  • Register for the conference today!
  • While you’re registering for things, register for the next MEDx Wireless and Mobile Technology meeting on Tuesday, 3/15 at 1:30pm. It will feature lightning talks from engineers and health researchers, followed by a team building breakout session.  
  • Just a little #civicduty plug – early voting in NC started this week and it goes until March 12th – find out everything you need to know by clicking here.

If you’d like to submit an event or article for us to publish in our digest, please send at least 3 weeks before the event to:

Fill in your details below to subscribe and get these delivered straight to your inbox!