Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 47

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

In today’s issue: register for the 5th Annual mHealth@Duke Conference, digital health in Kenya, 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 47



If you’re wondering what teenagers are up to these days, this 16-year-old at Cupertino High School recently won the Young Innovators to Watch Award scholarship at the CES Digital Health Summit. Utkarsh Tandon created a wearable device to monitor Parkinson’s Disease using algorithms and movement tracking.

Chronic disease and mental health are closely linked, and the global annual cost of mental health illnesses is predicted to reach $6 trillion in 2030. This article from Forbes explores how digital health solutions could tackle mental health problems today.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health has backed four studies with $41 million in grants, in the hopes of making the artificial pancreas a reality. An artificial pancreas would potentially combine the automated insulin pump with the continuous glucose monitor, imitating the behavior of a normally-functioning human pancreas and lifting the burden of Type 1 diabetes management.


80 adolescents were randomly assigned to receive either an interactive, web-based intervention with the goal of lowering intentions to smoke, or to get a text-based version of the program. Results indicated that perceived interactivity, entertainment, and emotional involvement predicted lower intention to smoke. Further, there was a direct relationship between perceived entertainment and emotional involvement.

A systematic review of eHealth projects in Kenya found that most projects used mobile technology (more than e-learning, health information systems, or telemedicine). In addition, they found that projects mostly focused on primary care and HIV/AIDS. The review exposed a disparity between the projects that are rigorously tested and that are offered in marginalized areas or places with more dire health care needs.

Oldie but goodie: Last summer, the WHO developed the End TB (tuberculosis) Strategy. This article outlines the Global Task Force on Digital Health for TB’s approach to supporting innovation and evaluation of effective strategies to end tuberculosis by 2035.


Congress is revisiting the Hallways to Health Act, a bill that promotes expanded use of telehealth in schools and in medically underserved areas. It would connect schools with community health centers, 14 of which have been selected in California, Georgia, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington. No action was taken when the bill was originally introduced in 2016, but now its proponents are hoping to garner support for telehealth expansion in schools in the context of the new administration. This article by the School-Based Health Alliance details how telehealth expansion would impact children’s access to primary and mental healthcare.

This week, the American Telemedicine Association released its latest report cards for each state’s telehealth policies regarding physician practice standards and payment. Many states showed improvement over the last report, and some are even looking to matching need for services like mental health and rehab. Overall, good news for telemedicine – all states now allow at least some coverage of telemedicine and the number of states with telemedicine parity laws has doubled since 2011.

Event of Interest 
The Value of a Cure: Ensuring Access and Encouraging Innovation
Tuesday, 2/28 8am – 10:30am
The Newseum, Knight Broadcast Studio in Washington, DC 
RSVP here

Digital Health Funding

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 

We did!

Project Name: Optimizing a standalone text messaging-based weight loss intervention
Organization: Duke Digital Health, Duke University
Description: Despite their translational potential, no trials have yet tested a fully standalone texting intervention for weight loss. All participants will receive a core 6-month weight loss texting intervention (based on our iOTA approach) that is automated and interactive. We will randomize participants to one of 16 experimental conditions to test different texting components (e.g., timing, frequency, feedback content).

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.




mHealth@Duke Shark Tank – deadline extended!
More information about the Shark Tank  
s/o to Susan Gallagher of DGHI – thanks for the graphic!!! 






Digital Health Innovation Sprint: Discovery Day
Thursday, 3/2 5:30pm – 8:30pm
American Underground, Durham, NC 
RSVP here

Register today for the 5th Annual mHealth@Duke Conference! 
The Lifecycle of Digital Health Science
Wednesday, April 12th, 2017
9am – 4pm Great Hall, Trent Semans Center for Health Education, Duke Medicine
Powered by Duke Digital Health & Smashing Boxes

Click here to register!

Click here for more info

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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