Digital health news briefs for 4/23/2018

By Jonah Comstock
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Telemedicine reduces gender-based barriers to health. showing that telemedicine improves access to care for women and girls in Nepal has won an Atlas Award. The study, originally published in May 2017, shows that telemedicine, delivered via video conferencing or mobile apps, reduces gender-based barriers to accessing care by eliminating the need for travel and reducing the cost to the patient, as well as by providing anonymity that enables discussions of sensitive topics around sexual and reproductive health. Researchers looked at records from several hospitals and medical centers in Nepal and conducted in-depth interviews with women and girls who had used telemedicine services.

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CBT shows promise for smoking apps. A in the Journal of Internet Medical Research today compared two smoking cessation apps — one using cognitive behavioral therapy principles and one that does not. They found that the CBT-based Quit Genius users were more likely to say the app increased their motivation to quite smoking than the non-CBT-based Smoke Free users. Quit Genius users were also more likely to respond favorably to the design and content of the Quit Genius app. Of note, the study of the CBT-based app Quit Genius or the non-CBT-based app NHS Smoke Free was a small convenience sample.

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One Drop publishes integrated offering data. Diabetes management platform One Drop from two recent studies at the 39th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. These are the first analyses, the company says, to look at One Drop's fully integrated offering, which includes both its mobile app and its coaching services. Findings showed that the system lowered estimated A1c A1c in people with Type 2 diabetes by an average of 1.9 percent in three months. It also lowered estimated A1c in people with Type 1 diabetes by 0.8 percent on average, and helped people who started at their goal blood glucose levels to maintain those levels.

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Grail publishes first data. Well-funded cancer detection startup Grail from its large ongoing Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas study, which is testing some of the company's prototype gene assays. The assays showed a high specificity in these initial results, detecting cancer-like signal in five individuals out of a sample of 580 individuals. Two of those individuals were found to have cancer. Grail presented these results at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Chicago last week.