Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 29

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

A smart stethoscope, a free concussion prevention app for Canadians, new methods to study Twitter data, 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.  

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Issue 29



  • Mary Meeker’s 2016 internet trends report was released this week! Interestingly, one trend we’re seeing is the switch to messaging apps as the “go-to place for interaction” with a smartphone (vs. the home screen). Get going with those messaging and native OS notifications apps, digital health researchers! 
  • Did you guys know there’s a “smart stethoscope” out there? It can record heart and lung sounds and send them directly to the EHR. It’s a really cool example of a digital health intervention that doesn’t interrupt clinical workflow, and allows PCPs and specialists to share vital signs easily, without needing the patient to make another appointment. 


  • Survey: A cross-sectional survey of 1,350 respondents found that self-reported health literacy did not predict Internet, smartphone, or text messaging use. It did find that those who reported having lower health literacy were more likely to get health information from social networks and to use health apps. 
  • Outcomes: 641 adults with high CVD risk were randomly assigned to either usual care or a digital health intervention that was comprised of regular telephone calls from trained health coaches (Healthlines). While clinical benefits were reported for some with high CVD risk, there was no overall improvement found in average risk. 


  • The WHO has added digital health to its End TB Strategy, which provides support for innovations in global efforts to improve TB care and prevention. 
  • A task force at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT made specific recommendations for incorporating Precision Medicine into its Interoperability Roadmap.

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