Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 42

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

Checking glucose with a breathalyzer, less than half of older Veterans lack access to the Internet, new blog posts and playlists, 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 42



screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-3-09-55-pmIf you have a connected stethoscope and a camera on your computer, you may never need to visit a doctor’s office again! At least, that’s what Tyto Care and American Well are hoping to achieve with their latest partnership.

Being able to check glucose levels without taking a blood sample has the potential to improve the lives of people with diabetes. Alternative methods of measurement have proven difficult, but researchers at Western New England University may have found an inexpensive and relatively simple way: an acetone breathalyzer.  

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-3-35-30-pmThe American Medical Association published a list of guiding principles in digital health to support the use of mHealth apps and devices.*

*Also posted in the CaDHRI newsletter*



A new systematic review describes persistent challenges in assessing the quality of mHealth applications and describes emerging methods for mHealth app searches, data extraction, and analysis.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-3-36-04-pmA telephone-delivered weight loss intervention for breast cancer survivors found an average weight loss of 3 kg compared to usual care after 6 months, as well as statistically significant reductions in fat mass and waist circumference. Participants reported high satisfaction with the intervention.

Findings from a mail survey reveal that almost half (44%) of older Veterans (65 and older) don’t have any Internet access. They did, however, report having at least 2 people who they are close that have home Internet. Further, they reported feeling comfortable to call upon these people for technology support.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants want a “driver mode” on smartphones to prevent distracted driving.

The US House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act this week by a vote of 392 to 26. The #CuresAct secures $6 billion in funding to continue the Precision Medicine Initiative and the cancer moonshot program, address the opioid crisis, and to accelerate the FDA’s drug approval process. It also reauthorizes funding for the NIH through FY2018. Vox published a summary of the bill and its pros and cons – you can find it here.

Grab bag

New on our blog: Talking our way to better health, by Dr. Gary Bennett.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-3-36-52-pmCongratulations to our colleague Roger Vilardaga! His app, Learn To Quit, won a Davey Award for Best Mobile App in the Health and Fitness category!  The app helps people with severe mental illness quit smoking.

Pfizer Oncology and Health 2.0 launched a Global Innovation Challenge for “disruptive, technology-enabled solutions” to advance care for Patients Living with metastatic breast cancer.
Want to hear what our team members listen to while we work? Check out our Center’s playlist on Spotify!




Plasmonic Nanostars: Golden Prospects for Sensing, Diagnostics and Therapy
Tuan Vo-Dinh, PhD
Thursday, 12/8 @ 12p, F-CIEMAS 2240
Lunch provided
More info

Epigenetic Clock Analysis of Race/Ethnicity, Sex, and Chronic Disease
Steve Horvath, UCLA
Thursday, 12/8 @ 3:30p, SSRI- Gross Hall 270
More Info

Precision Medicine and the Learning Healthcare System
Laura Wiley, PhD, MS
Thursday, 12/15 @ 12p, F-CIEMAS 2240
Lunch provided
More Info

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