Duke Global Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 74

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

In this issue of the Digital Health Science Digest: Joe Biden gets in on interoperability, will AI replace human healthcare providers, 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 74



A wearable heart rate monitor might be able to accurately identify hypoglycemic events in patients with Type 1 diabetes. 

A new “smart” personal emergency response pendent doesn’t just integrate with Amazon Echo and Alexa, it also uses GPS to notify caregivers when their loved one isn’t wearing it, thereby helping to solve a major usability issue.

Fitbit recently introduced a fitness band for kids (8 and up). It’s called the Fitbit Ace, and it is essentially an adapted version of the Fitbit Alta. It’s not the first child-friendly physical activity wearable, but because it’s built on the Fitbit platform, it might be more widely adopted.


A new article in Nature explores the role of artificial intelligence in healthcare that “provide a view of a future where healthcare delivery is a more unified, human experience.”

A recent systematic review aimed to summarize data on the characteristics of feedback messaging used in diet and physical activity interventions. This review focused on delivering just-in-time feedback on integrated body-worn sensors. It found that feedback that was “continuously available, personalized, and actionable relative to a known behavioral objective” was featured in studies with significant outcomes.  

Patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy, a bariatric procedure for weight loss, often have high rates of weight regain. A text message-based intervention that sent 1 text message every day for 1 year resulted in less weight regain over the course of that year.  

A “realist review” on mHealth communication for monitoring people with chronic diseases in low-resource settings found that a match between what the intervention provides and the needs relevant to the specific patient group increases the effect of mobile health. 


Joe Biden wrote a commentary in Fortune magazine calling on the current administration to take “real action” on implementing interoperability fixes.

Check out this policy analysis in JMIR about Medicaid becoming the first third-party payer to cover passive remote monitoring in home care.

Grab Bag

The LiveWell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center is sponsoring an app development competition for middle, high school, and college students as well as non-professional developers. The app challenge is intended to promote awareness of the need for assistive and accessible technologies by fostering innovation. Submissions are due May 1. More information and guidelines here!  

Of interest: Mark Zuckerberg talks to Wired magazine about Facebook’s privacy problem.

A new editorial in MedCityNews argues that only through individually tailored solutions will we be able to start to tackle the obesity epidemic.

Upcoming Events

Empowering Behavior Change Through Digital Health
Join Ed Barber and Tim Horan to learn about the impact of evidence-based, effective, and motivating patient engagement strategies implemented at UNC. 
Thursday, March 29, 11:30a – 1p
Health Science Library, 227
Lunch will be provided. Register here.

Bridging Population Health at Duke
This conference is open to Duke faculty, staff, and students, and aims to coalesce the Duke community around a shared vision of improving health through innovative research and advanced care.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 12p – 5p
Great Hall, Trent Semans Center for Health Education
Registration is required

Patient Behavior Change: Building Blocks for Success
Join a live web event on patient engagement. Produced by NEJM Catalyst and hosted by Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.  
Wednesday, April 4, 1p – 5p
More information and register 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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