Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 27

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

Facebook launches a chat bot, The VA is quietly enrolling its own million person cohort, and more this week! 

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 27



  • HealthTap is the first health-focused company to launch a Facebook chat bot, which allows Facebook users to type health questions into Messenger any time and receive free responses from doctors. 
  • Are you slogging through EHR free text fields searching for data? Soon (now), natural language processing and open source machine learning tools might be able to do your work for you


  • Outcomes: A workplace web-based intervention to modify CVD risk factors that spanned 81 organizations and 42 states found significant improvements in weight loss with every increasing level of intervention usage. Latinos were more likely to have greater participation in the intervention.


  • The American Hospital Association published a brief urging the CMS to include telehealth in value-based payment models and lift geographic restrictions on its use in order to provide better care. 
  • The VA is almost halfway towards its goal of enrolling one million Veterans into a new genomic cohort that will propel forward both the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative and the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. 

Grab bag

  • Are you or is someone you know developing an app for providers? Check out this handy guide to creating a secure app for clinicians.

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