Data, bots and drones - Can technology help increase uptake of adult immunisation?

A new report launched by the International Longevity Centre UK today, finds that through the use of big data, the sharing economy and AI amongst others, technology could play a major role in overcoming some of the barriers to the uptake of adult vaccinations.

While growing anti-vaccination sentiments have been impacting on immunisation uptake across the globe, a “fightback” has begun with pro-science doctors and healthcare organisations developing a more savvy online presence and better content to respond to the anti-vaccination movement.

This report highlights some of the ways in which technology is already being developed to break down the barriers to vaccination:

• The UK leads the world in using weekly data to help support uptake of influenza vaccination by older people.
• The US-based healthcare transport company Circulation, has begun to leverage ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft to take patients to healthcare appointments.
• Mark Kendall from the University of Queensland is developing a postage- stamp sized nanopatch with thousands upon thousands of tiny spikes on its surface, which could be used as an alternative to the needle for delivering vaccination.
• In India, a medical student has devised a digital necklace, which stores a wearer’s medical history, including vaccination records.

Among a set of recommendations in the report, ILC calls on European policymakers to:

• Develop a specific funding programme on “what works” to ensure that policy and financial investment in technology delivers its potential;
• Legislate to ensure that products and services are accessible and usable for all ages and abilities;
• Recognise the challenges of demographic change and ageing populations and ensure policy supports vaccination as important across our lives;
• Develop an EU wide programme of action to encourage uptake of adult as well as child immunisation.

Read the full report here.