Duke Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 67

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

In this issue: a new app designed by Duke clinicians, a proposal to increase biomedical research funding, 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 67



MobiHealthNews recently featured a #longread on technology-based clinical trials. It chronicles some of the temptations and pitfalls the research community faces as it adopts and implements technology-based studies.

Duke clinicians and researchers designed an iPhone app that helps patients understand and manage sickle cell disease. SCDToolbox incorporates new NHLBI guidelines on sickle cell management and includes tailored recommendations for treatment of symptoms. Patients can even connect directly with a sickle cell specialist via email or video-chat. 

A collaboration between Partners Connected Health and Hitachi, Ltd aims to develop a new artificial intelligence tool that can predict the risk of hospital readmissions within 30 days for patients with heart failure. 


Is “connected health” contributing to a healthier population? Find out what some researchers think by reading this viewpoint.

An observational cohort study aimed to find out whether number of steps taken during inpatient recovery after metastatic surgery predicted readmission risk. Patients were given a Fitbit to wear during their inpatient stay after surgery. Higher step counts predicted lower risk of 30- and 60-day readmission post surgery.   

A new systematic review evaluates the types and quality of health information provided in Chinese CVD mobile apps and interactive functions for promoting CVD self-management.


Starting in 2018, CMS is adding digital tools to its Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The digital tools will help patients and health systems monitor patient progress outside of the hospital. 

Last week, US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced the National Biomedical Research Act, which would increase funding for targeted biomedical research initiatives. Want to learn more? Read the text of  the exchange between Senator Warren and the NIH Director, Francis Collins. 

Grab Bag

Duke Digital Health (that’s us!) is looking for pilot participants  for a text message-based weight loss study. The goal of Charge is to test different ways to use text messaging to help you healthier choices, lose weight, and feel great. If you’re between 18-65 and willing to get & send text messages on your smartphone for 2 weeks, you may be eligible to participate. Click here for more info!

The Duke Mobile App Gateway has announced a new RFA to fund 2 research projects on the Medable platform. Applications are due January 31, 2018. Funded researchers will also receive 10 hours of support from the Mobile App Gateway team. Click here for more information! 

The Duke Center for REsearch to AdvanCe Healthcare Equity (REACH Equity) is seeking applications for a mentored career development award for junior faculty. Up to 6 awards will be funded this year. The awards provide up to $75,000 per year for 2 years. Applications are due February 1, 2018. 

Upcoming Events

Medicine Grand Rounds – REACH Equity: Responding to the ‘Fierce urgency of now’
Friday, January 12, 8am – 9am
Speaker: Kimberly Johnson, MD
Trent Semans Center for Health Education – Great Hall More information and registration here

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: erica.levine@duke.edu

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