Duke Digital Health Science Digest – Issue 75

Posted | Posted in Digital Health Science Digest

It’s our 75th issue! Can an app diagnose you more accurately than a doc? That and more in this 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.  

More here: dukedigitalhealth.org

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Issue 75



The American Academy of Family Physicians has partnered with Zipnosis, a telemedicine company, to offer their patients easy access to care. The partnership has the potential to offer telemedicine to roughly 130,000 providers around the country.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is launching a suite of digital health tools that it will offer to self-insured accounts with 1,000 or more employees later this year. Program offerings will include solutions for diabetes self-management as well as fertility and pregnancy coaching.

Can an app diagnose you better than a doctor? One study found some surprising results


A “cross-sector partnership” in Louisville, Kentucky used electronic inhaler sensors to track when and where city dwellers had symptoms of asthma or COPD. The study led to findings related not only to improvements in asthma control among those who used the sensors and its accompanying platform, but also that the crowdsourced information related to the built environment led to policy recommendations to improve the health of the city.

The Allillanchu Project in Peru aimed to “design, develop, and test an intervention to promote early detection, opportune referral, and access to treatment of patients with mental health disorders.” Combining PCP training, task shifting, and a smartphone application to screen for mental health, they found that 22% of patients needed specialized mental health care. Out of those patients, over half reported later seeing a mental health specialist.

A pilot study testing the effect of self-monitoring and self-management for people with substance use disorders found that after 1 month of receiving text messages, 26% of the participants in the intervention group had a positive urine test, compared with 50% in the control group. 


This interview with the Director of Health Policy at UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation provides some insight into today’s digital health policy landscape.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) recently issued a patient-facing guidebook to help patients overcome challenges in accessing their medical records.

The United Kingdom government announced that it is investing £760 million to “modernize and transform” NHS hospitals and community services over the next decade. This comes after an announcement of a £75 million investment to help National Health Services hospitals implement an e-prescribing system.

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!  

Upcoming Events

Creating Engaging Mobile Apps
The Mobile App Gateway and a local development partner are offering a workshop on best practices for creating engaging mobile apps that will bring your users back for more. 
Thursday, April 26th 9am – 1pm
Erwin Mill A103
Sign up here!

Digital Health Happy Hour
Join Digital Health in the Triangle for a Happy Hour!
Wednesday, April 18, 5p – 7p
Launch Chapel Hill, 306 W. Franklin St, Chapel Hill
More info 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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