Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 34

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

The most promising tech for obesity treatment, new maps show the intersection of broadband connectivity and health, 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 34



A new program at the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative aims to “identify and address challenges related to planning for and conducting clinical trials that use mobile technology”  – the program is comprised of 4 projects that deal with: use of mobile devices, stakeholder perceptions, legal and regulatory issues, and novel endpoints. 

A substance abuse counseling program by Workit Health has raised over $1 million. The 90-day digital program focuses on harm reduction and prevention of substance abuse and incorporates evidence-based addiction therapies and real-world addiction counselors.

rulerDDH is in the blogosphere this week! The 4th part of our blog series, Designing Evidence-Based Digital Health Interventions for Vulnerable Populations, is out! Check out Parts 1, 2, and 3 as well while you’re there… 
…and our director, Gary Bennett, shared his insights about using technology to improve obesity treatment in a recent interview with the New York Academy of Sciences.


Closeup of a male hand holding a smartphone during a video call with his girl field

Outcomes: A small trial that tested video coaching alongside a computer-tailored web-based physical activity promotion intervention found only small improvements in the coaching+web group when compared to the web only group.

fruitheartAnalog research: Data from a small pilot study (n=11) among adults with moderate chronic kidney disease suggest that a reduced-sodium DASH diet may improve nighttime blood pressure.  #DukeData #DDHPublication

Recently launched: Pfizer and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are teaming up to test an app for rheumatoid arthritis in a small clinical trial (n=190). The app will collect data about patients pain and function in order to help improve patient management of arthritis.


The FCC is launching an interactive web-based mapping tool to allow users to visualize the intersection of broadband and health. Users can get customized maps that display broadband access, adoption and speed data alongside various health measures in urban and rural areas. The maps are already reinforcing some long-held inklings we’ve had about connectivity and health, especially when it comes to the rural/urban divide…

…Although some argue that the urban-rural divide isn’t as big as you may think -at least not economically speaking…

Vindell Washington will replace Dr. Karen DeSalvo as the ONC National Coordinator for Health IT. 

Grab bag

What’s the most promising technology for obesity treatment? Find out here

wallaissue 34A new app designed by Duke students, launching later this month, helps incoming freshmen find new friends, avoid alcohol, and  transition smoothly to college life by providing a platform for real-time activity broadcasting.

Upcoming Events

Digital Product Design Workshop
Hosted by Duke Health & Smashing Boxes
8/23 & 8/24
Open to Duke Health faculty, staff, and graduate/PhD students
Register by 8/15

“Design Disruptors” movie screening
Wednesday, 9/7, 6pm (doors open at 5:30p)
Full Frame Theater @ American Tobacco
RSVP here; space is limited.

NYAS Conference, “Big Data, Consumer Technology, and the Obesity Epidemic: Emerging Science and Ethical Considerations” 
New York City, September 16th
Featured Speaker: Gary Bennett! 

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:

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