Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 45

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

Stanford’s new Digital Health Center, a report on mHealth interventions in India, and more!  

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 45



screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-12-43-47-pmThe George Institute recently published a report on mHealth interventions for health systems strengthening in India. The report aims to present a “comprehensive landscape” of mHealth in India. The report is designed for decision makers in the healthcare system in India (program planners, research institutions, policymakers, etc).

MyHeartCounts, one of the original ResearchKit apps recently was updated to include health coaching. Users can now receive prompts based on their activity patterns. MyHeartCounts was developed by Stanford University researchers and LifeMap Solutions. screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-12-43-56-pm

…and speaking of Stanford, their School of Medicine now has a Center for Digital Health. Its goal is to provide Silicon Valley companies with opportunities to test new tools within a research framework. The new center will be led by Dr. Sumbul Desai, a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford.


An interactive, web-based intervention among adults with metabolic syndrome in Tehran, Iran, resulted in increased levels of moderate physical activity and walking, as well as decreases in cholesterol intake and total calories, indicating that the intervention can help participants with metabolic syndrome improve their risk factors.

A randomized controlled trial that tested Smartcare (an activity tracker with smartphone application) with Smartcare + financial incentives for physical activity and weight loss found significantly greater weight loss and higher levels of physical activity among the Smartcare + financial incentives group than among the comparison groups. 

A global landscape analysis sought to find out how programs are using mHealth interventions to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in low-and middle-income countries. There is emerging evidence that mobile phones are an effective way to reach young people around the world, and to increase knowledge and behavior change to improve sexual and reproductive health.


The Brookings Institute published an analysis of the Millennium Development Goals. It specifically addresses 3 common critiques: that progress towards the MDGs was inevitable, that progress is driven largely by China and India, and that progress on MDGs is a product of underlying economic growth, rather than directed policy efforts.

Whether or not you’ve been following along with all the confirmation hearings, The Hill published 5 takeaways from the hearing for Rep. Tom Price, the nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services.

A recent CNN/ORC poll finds that 49% of Americans favor Obamacare aka the Affordable Care Act, versus 47% who oppose it. This marks the first time more people have said they favor the law than oppose it since 2010.

New! Digital Health Funding

New year, new section! Here you’ll find research funding opportunities in digital health and a selection of recently funded studies. If you have a funding opportunity you’d like us to include, please email

Who got funded

Title: Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics

Organization: Columbia University Health Sciences

Description: The Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI) research training program will prepare nurse scientists with knowledge and skills in informatics and in dissemination and implementation science to address the scientific challenges and opportunities related to the use of health information and communication technologies to reduce heath disparities and facilitate evidence-based practice. 

Grab bag

Duke is hiring!  The Duke ADHD Program invites applications for a new 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in the area of digital health and ADHD. Full job description can be found here and more information about the ADHD program at Duke can be found here.

The Joep Lange Institute in Amsterdam, founded with the help of the Duke Global Health Institute, hosted the Global Fund’s Executive Director Mark Dybul, who gave a lecture on the role of data, innovation and technology in global health





MEDx Mobile Technology Seminar
Researchers and clinicians from across Duke will present on their work, resources available in the mobile tech space, and discuss clinical needs and opportunities for collaboration.
Wednesday, 2/1 @ 12p-1p, 125 Hudson Hall, Pratt School of Engineering

Lunch will be provided! 











More information about the Shark Tank  
s/o to Susan Gallagher of DGHI – thanks for the graphic!!!

Save the Date! 
5th Annual mHealth@Duke Conference
Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

More Info Soon!

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