274066 Using Social Media and Technology to Spread Awareness, Educate Patients, and Increase Vaccine Compliance

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hashim Zaidi, MD/MPH Candidate , School of Medicine/School of Public Health, Baylor College of Medicine; UT School Of Public Health, Houston, TX
Emily Kennedy, MPH candidate , School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX
Peter Kamel, BS , School of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Ronnie Ren, BS , School of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Sugar Land, TX
Emma Corbett, MD/MPH Candidate , School of Medicine/School of Public Health, Baylor College of Medicine/UT School of Public Health, Houston, TX
Current immunization recommendations are one of the most effective ways to ensure public health and prevent disease. Record keeping and effective scheduling in a fragmented healthcare system is challenging for healthcare providers and the public alike. Additionally, an expansive anti-vaccination movement has gained significant momentum and pockets of vaccine preventable diseases are being discovered among areas with high immunization refusal rates. VaxNation is a tool developed by medical and public health students to assist users in maintaining and keeping track of their vaccination records. Additionally, VaxNation addresses the growing misinformation about immunizations through a viral education component. Through an integrated viral network that encompasses smart phones, social media, and online campaigning, VaxNation works to raise vaccine compliance and dispel misconceptions about immunizations. The VaxNation vaccination tracker provides a personalized schedule and record keeper including an automated reminder function that notifies users when an upcoming immunization is recommended accompanied with a clinic locator function. The education component is supplemented as users are presented with a variety of immunization statistics and information showing some of the alarming vaccination rates in the local, state or national region using the CDC Health Indicators Warehouse Data. The interface is integrated with Facebook so that users can directly log in to their account and easily share statistics and information they discover on the website. Using referral code tracking, users can monitor their social media impact and see which communities they are affecting. VaxNation is now hosted on a webserver and the website is available at http://www.vaxnation.org/.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify a clear need for an integrated application that serves to maintain and track vaccination records. Describe the designed system that works to educate users and combat misinformation concerning vaccinations. Explain what viral education concerning immunizations using social media entails and why it is critical in the near future.

Keywords: Immunizations, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an MD/MPH duel degree student who has worked with a team of students to develop a public health application with an emphasis on integrating social media. Our team placed first in the Go Viral 2012 Public Health Challenge by the Institute of Medicine. My interest and field of study includes using innovative ways to improve public health and disease prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.