Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 59

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

In today’s issue: we are hiring! An app helps pregnant women who receive Medicaid deliver healthy babies, and more in this week’s issue!  

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 59



A recent article in NPR connects telemedicine, rural health disparities, and immigration policy as these issues converge in rural Arizona.

A study conducted among Medicaid-eligible pregnant women in Wyoming found that those who used a customized app were more likely to deliver healthy babies. The app connected women to information on pregnancy, and linked them to Medicaid benefits and resources such as WIC and quit smoking programs. App users were 76% more likely to schedule prenatal visits early on in pregnancy. Women used the app, on average, around 6.4 times per month.

Check out this article in The Atlantic by Jean M. Twenge on teens, smartphones, and mental health. “The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household.” 


Researchers in the Netherlands conducted a scoping review to identify key components of self-tracking and “persuasive eCoaching” in automated interventions, to find the ones that were most (and least) effective. A few key components they discovered were: personalization of goals, praise messages, reminders to self-monitor, and provision of face-to-face instructions during implementation.


The FDA recently launched a “Digital Health Innovation Action Plan.” One piece of this plan is a new pilot program for software developers; it is a voluntary program that will certify individual software engineers in an effort to support faster and iterative software design for digital health. 

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!

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! 

Upcoming Events

Webinar on Integrating Patient-Generated Health Data into the Clinical Workflow
Featured Speakers: Drew Schiller, CEO, Validic & Martin Entwistle, President, Ares Health Systems
 Thursday, 8/17, 2pm ET
Click here for more info and to 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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