Digital Health Science Digests – Issue 46

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

In today’s issue: a mental health app evaluator, new Pew data on technology and internet use, SNAP goes online, 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 46



Jupiter Medical Center in Florida will be the first U.S. community hospital to implement IBM’s Watson for Oncology platform. The platform draws data from over 300 medical journals and over 200 textbooks and ranks evidence-based treatment options to provide treatment plan recommendations for breast, lung, colorectal, cervical, ovarian and gastric cancers.
Fewer than half of the estimated 44 million adults with mental illness receive treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. A recent article in USA Today explores the pros and cons of apps for mental health treatment. 

…and speaking of mental health treatment apps…did you know that the American Psychiatry Association offers a mental health app evaluator?


The Pew Research  Center has released a new set of “fact sheets” chronicling more than 15 years of internet and technology use

Development of a smoking cessation, healthy eating, and physical activity promotion app called, “See Me Smoke-Free” is described here. The paper describes focus groups, user testing, and app features.

A retrospective study investigated the effectiveness of the MAMA maternal mHealth campaign on improving maternal health and HIV outcomes among HIV+ pregnant women in South Africa. Results showed that women who were sent messages attended more antenatal care visits and experience improved birth outcomes, compared to those who were not sent messages.


The USDA is piloting a program that will give participants in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) the ability to purchase groceries online. The pilot will be launched in 7 states and through it, Americans will be able to order groceries online and have them delivered directly to their homes through retailers like Amazon, Safeway, and FreshDirect. This Atlantic article presents the unique challenges the USDA faces in implementation and persistent questions about the program’s ability to promote healthy eating and overcome barriers to access to fresh, high-quality produce.

The GOP’s plans to overhaul Medicaid runs the risk of widening health disparities, according to this article in STAT. Instituting a spending limit on Medicaid recipients may result in cutting patients off from innovative (read: expensive) treatments. As this article states, Medicaid has historically been one way of widely disseminating novel treatments.

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

Project Name: Rural Disparities in Pediatric Obesity: The iAmHealthy Intervention
Organization: University of Kansas Medical Center
Description: iAmHealthy is a 32-week behavioral intervention focused on nutrition, behavior and physical activity that engages parents and children in treatment using mHealth technology. It combines family-based behavioral groups with individual-level child and family support — all provided directly to homes via mHealth technology.

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!!! 






Save the Date! 
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
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