Mobile apps have revolutionized a few industries including healthcare. Medical apps have become a norm and every other patient is using them to avoid skipping dosages. Typically, these applications allow bidirectional correspondence which enables them to tackle numerous vaccination challenges. Such as the provision of vaccination-related information, vaccine tracking, and the creation of personalized schedules. Also, the diverse functionality makes these apps very useful for individual level as well as system level. For individuals, a vaccine reminder application will offer the ease of better record keeping and unique methods of communication for getting information from public clinics/health officials. While for the system, these apps offer the ease of quality improvement for vaccine information, program assessment, and reduce vaccine hesitancy.
With the growing app development technology, future apps will play a massive part in improving vaccination practices.
Vaccination Reminder Apps
Reminder apps offer a variety of unique features for their users. The primary objective of these apps is to provide users with immunization information. This typically includes:
- Recommended vaccination schedules
- Safety and storage tips
- Frequently asked questions
- Relevant news
- Immunization statistics
- Relevant immunization events and conferences
The functionality of these apps allows users to track/set reminders on their own vaccinations and create personalized dosage schedules. A medication reminder app is a tool specifically built for patients to create vaccination schedules, maintain medical records, set reminders on future medical appointments, and plan medicine purchases.
Typically, these apps carry features like patient/physician portal allowing healthcare officials to create personalized schedules i.e. vaccination reminders. Some apps even track animal vaccinations for both veterinarians and pet owners.
The common features of these apps include:
- Tracking of health information
- Locating health care services and specific clinics/hospitals
- Accessing health records
Benefits of Tracking Apps
Though tracking apps offer a diverse range of functionality, the most valuable feature is their ability to provide convenient access to patients’ medical information. This is great because traditional ways of record keeping are tedious.
They don’t allow individuals to make real-time changes in data.
In many hospitals, around 10%–50% of the patient record is either missing or contains errors. But this can be easily prevented using vaccination apps. They facilitate the recording of information through:
- Drop down menus
- Manual entry
- Mobile scanning of 2D vaccine barcodes
Essentially, these features improve the quality of information stored within the record.
Also, vaccination apps help patients schedule medical appointments and remind them of overdue inoculations.
By providing vaccination status for users, applications can likewise improve the quality of information in vaccination data archives. And by enabling people to record and store vaccination information on cell phones, these apps can encourage and supplement inoculation surveillance activities.
While cell phones enable people to send inoculation data to healthcare authorities, they additionally provide a platform where users can communicate with professionals through vaccination apps and discuss their health issues. Vaccination apps also allow targeted messaging to specific regions utilizing global positioning systems (GPS).
Additionally, the authorities can use these apps to communicate with people and notify them about outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in their locale.
Another useful feature is their ability to enhance immunization confidence and rates. The major reason behind skipping vaccines is the uncertainty over the quality of vaccines.
In our pill reminder app, we have addressed user concerns through scheduling and automated reminder features. Helping people to remember the significance of immunization. Additionally, it contains exact information about how to counter the misinformation that is common on the Internet about vaccines.
Other than that, there are many vaccine applications that can assist health authorities to address antibody reluctance in different ways. For instance, they allow healthcare authorities to distinguish areas where antibody reluctance is occurring. A mobile vaccination application could also be used by authorities to deliver targeted messages in specific areas to explicitly address people’s concerns.
While applications offer potential to improve inoculation practice, they also have a few limitations and barriers to use. The utilization of cell phones is progressively widespread. However, the willingness to utilize apps for managing health data stays questionable. While the younger generation may be more willing to take benefit from the tech, the older clients are not as open to using mobile applications for health purposes. Besides, there are barriers regarding technology availability reflecting a general discomfort with the utilization of new technology to achieve desired goals at work or home. Our belief is that these obstacles should not be taken lightly. Building the best technology isn’t of any worth if people are not willing to download and use it.
Data storage on a device is another concern as many apps are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The best way to keep them secured is through password protection and possibly 2 level-security. Password protection of the device can be related with encryption of the device itself as done in iPhones. Using these options will result in advanced security of data. However, complete security is never guaranteed as the protection can be easily broken by experienced hackers.
We believe the future of medication reminder apps will provide real-time access to patients’ vaccination status. They will keep them aware of whether they are following the schedule. The healthcare specialists will also be aware of a patient’s status and will provide recommendations appropriately. As the app technology continues to evolve, the potential to enhance vaccination practice will only increase.