Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 58

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

In today’s issue: why readers should beware of studies using apps and wearables, we are recruiting for a new study(!), 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 58



A recent article in WIRED Magazine lays out some of the issues inherent in conducting and interpreting results from physical activity studies using apps and wearables

An app designed by a professor at the University of Vermont surveys undergraduates daily to help coach them on healthy behaviors. Dr. James Hudziak, the app’s creator, recently won a $1.8 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to study the app’s effectiveness and to help bring it to scale. 

A technology company has partnered with Garmin to create wearables and a simple app to help residents of senior living communities stay fit and well. When surveyed, more than 75% of older adults reported finding technology was helpful in improving their health. 


Are you looking for an activity tracker for your next children’s physical activity study? This paper describes a study that determined the validity of 3 commercial youth-oriented activity trackers.

A recent study was conducted to explore barriers to using wearable sensors among members of Latino, Somali and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities. Results from the research revealed gaps in informed consent, challenges to data management, social implications and legal risks. 


Check out this article for a review of where the FDA and other national regulators are moving regarding digital health.

If you’ve got a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, you can read Eric Topol’s recent article about how to use smart technology to fix the healthcare crisis. 

Grab Bag

We are hiring a Research Program Leader to oversee several digital health research studies. Job description here.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center is hiring two postdoctoral fellows to work at the intersection of health disparities and mobile health. More details here!

The Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI) is organizing the 3rd Innovation Jam. All faculty, staff, trainees, and students are encouraged to apply. This year’s focus will be on ideas that are close to translation into market and/or commercialization, such as:
1) Innovative devices
2) Novel use of analytics
3) Digital health/mHealth
More information and application here!

Innovations in Healthcare, a nonprofit that aims to improve healthcare by supporting the scale and impact of promising innovations, is accepting referrals and nominations for the 2018 Innovations in Healthcare innovator cohort. Applications open 8/1. Join their webinar on July 25th @ 7:30am EST for more information.

We are recruiting!

We are looking for participants for a new study! Dr. Dori Steinberg is leading a study that uses a diet tracking app to improve adherence to a healthy diet among women who are at risk for heart disease. We’re looking for women ages 21-70 who can come to Durham, NC for regular visits, have pre-hypertension or hypertension, use a smartphone, and have an email account. Click here for more info and to see if you’re eligible! 

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