Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 53

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

In today’s issue: 2 exciting innovations in medication adherence, advice for mHealth in China, 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 53



Startup Pillsy recently launched a smart pill bottle to improve medication adherence. The bottle links to an app, which tracks when the patient opens the bottle and reminds him or her when to take medication. Lack of medication adherence leads to $100 billion per year spent in excess hospitalizations.

Catalia Health is taking a different approach to medication adherence — with an AI-powered robot. The robot, Mabu, is a tablet capable of having conversations with patients at home, and is currently being tested as an adherence aid in pilots with pharma companies, healthcare systems, and more.


Researchers designed and tested a tailored text-messaging intervention to support adults with type 2 diabetes who receive care from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the South. Participants (n=36) responded to 96% of self-care assessment text messages over 2 weeks. 

For those of you interested in mHealth work in China, check out this systematic review of mHealth interventions for health system strengthening in China. The reviewers provide 4 recommendations for future intervention development.

Not research, but this recent New Yorker article by Siddhartha Mukherjee called, “A.I. Versus M.D.” , tackles emerging issues related to diagnosis and treatment in our ever-increasingly automated age.


Federal lawmakers recently reintroduced the VETS Act, a bill that aims to reduce barriers to access for veterans to telehealth and mHealth, especially in rural areas. Proponents hope that loosening restrictions for telehealth and mHealth will help veterans get medical care when they live far from VA facilities.

The FDA is entering the digital health space with a digital health focused unit. The unit will work to establish pre-market approval for evidence-based digital health and explore AI, telemedicine, and other hot topics in digital health. 

The CONNECT Act has made a reappearance from its first introduction in February 2016. The Act aims to improve telehealth and telemedicine expansion and access by giving providers more freedom with digital health platforms. Expansion will then help improve access for underserved populations.

Grab Bag

Congratulations to our colleague Lavanya Vasudevan on receiving the Emerging Global Health Leader Award from the Triangle Global Health Consortium! She deserves it!

We are hiring! 2 open positions!  Duke Digital Health invites applications for:
1) a new 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in the area of digital health and obesity. The job description can be found here and more information about our center can be found here.
2) A Senior Clinical Research Specialist. Job description here.

Stride Health is hiring an entry-level position for someone interested in digital health, health insurance, and/or public health. In addition to applying on the website, please email Erica [dot] Levine [@] if you are interested. 

IntraHealth is hiring a Director of Digital Health. Check out the job description here.

Congratulations to all graduates!  

Health 2.0: Greg Kuhnen, The Promise of Advanced Analytics
May 18th, 6pm – 7:30pm, MET LIFE Offices, Cary
More info and Register

Digital Health in the Triangle Happy Hour
Wednesday, 5/24 4:30-6pm, American Underground @ Main
Register Here!

Precision Medicine World Conference 2017
May 24-25, Duke Fuqua School of Business
More info and register!

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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