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geomap your social network's health behaviors, using social encouragement to empower vaccine hesitant parents to vaccinate their kids

Photo of Patricia Bai
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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

MapWell leverages existing relationships by geo-mapping health behaviors of your local friends, where visualization of data like immunizations rates in your community will socially encourage vaccine-hesitant parents to vaccinate their children.

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

Kelly is a vaccine hesitant parent who wants the best for her child. She has legitimate concerns about vaccine safety and is informed about benefits of vaccines, but she is confused by all the conflicting information, making her hesitant to vaccinate. Because making sure her family is healthy is her #1 priority, she uses MapWell, an app that maps crowdsourced health behavior data in her local community. She sees live data on local grocery stores with discounted healthy food deals of the week, the number of steps her friends have walked daily, and immunization rates in her community. With our user research, we found the vaccine debate can be polarizing and vilify hesitant or anti vaccine parents, but a shared goal for all parents is to ensure their kids are healthy - with this in mind, it is important that MapWell shares a variety of community-based data, with vaccines being one of many methods parents can use to maximize the health of their child. Kelly sees which friends in her social network have vaccinated their kids and hear their story. Because she already has trust in her local community network, hearing how her neighbor just got her child vaccinated and visualizing the community immunizations to leverage peer influence would be more likely to empower Kelly to vaccinate her child. MapWell will also show local clinic immunization offerings and list doctors willing to engage in vaccination discussions. Traditional public health approaches based primarily in (1) educating caregivers on benefits of vaccines and lack of association between vaccines and autism and (2) “scare tactics” are largely ineffective . Further, past health behavior research has demonstrated social encouragement and community beliefs can affect individual behavior more than incentive approaches or knowledge. Therefore a solution that capitalizes on the effects social encouragement on individual action would be immensely valuable.

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • Northern America

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

This intervention targets Maricopa County, AZ, the community we live in with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the US and exceptionally lenient personal belief exemption laws. We would love to partner to adapt MapWell's reach to East Africa.

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

Our targeted end-users are vaccine-hesitant, health-conscious parents. Vaccine-hesitant parents are difficult to find and reach directly because of social shaming regarding vaccine exemptions. However, we have come to know our demographic from interviews and involvement with pediatricians, The Arizona Partnership for Immunizations (TAPI), public health department officials, and state epidemiologists. We also have accessed a wealth of state government testimony from vaccine-hesitant parents. Our position as medical students allows us access to health professionals as well as local organizations without appearing judgmental or biased. In conclusion, we are knowledgeable of our demographic, even given the difficulties in reaching them.

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

Vaccine-hesitant parents often do not want to be identified as such, given strong opinion polarization around the topic of vaccination and the potential for social shaming. MapWell will allow vaccine-hesitant parents to see vaccine data in their local communities as well as those nearby. It will enable vaccine-hesitant parents to connect with other parents and to reach out to local resources while maintaining a level of anonymity. While many vaccine interventions tend to rely on expert opinion and statistics, research suggests that harsh presentation of the data and criticism can push parents away from vaccination. In contrast, our approach will build on trusted community relationships to reach and influence vaccine-hesitant parents.

Idea Proposal Stage (Select 1)

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

12-18 months - we have talked to various stakeholders and plan on doing more user testing for feedback and need time to iterate on the idea

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)

We are a self-assembled team of passionate medical students at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, with community partners we could work with

Type of Submitter

  • We are not yet a registered organization but looking for collaborative partners

Organizational Characteristics

  • Locally/community-led organization
  • student-led

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

Phoenix/Scottsdale AZ

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • National (expansive reach within one country)

Tell us more about your organization/company (1-2 sentences)

We are medical students with a passion for public health and design thinking. Low vaccination rates in Arizona are of concern in the communities that we live in, and we are looking to unique, previously-unexplored ways to address these issues.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (750 characters)

We have a multi-pronged approach to engage a variety of stakeholders who are passionate about driving vaccination rates. We have spoken to and plan to engage local patient advocacy groups such as The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI). We also plan to have parents from different districts and socioeconomic statuses user test our app. We are also working with several local health practitioners, including community pediatricians, and vaccine policy advocates. We are enthusiastic that the combination of experiences and expertise from these groups will provide appropriate guidance for this project. Because MapWell will show immunization data, we will be able to identify gaps to bring stakeholders in to support low resource communities.

How many people are on your team?


Tell us more about you and your team

Patricia Bai is building a career to use design thinking to build creative solutions to tackle complex healthcare challenges. As a current medical student with a BA in anthropology and minor in human-centered design, she has a passion for pediatrics. Johnny Klyver’s background is in public and global health in underserved communities. From June 2017-June 2018, he spend year abroad in Haiti’s Central Plateau as a Medical Missionaries Global Health Fellow. He graduated as a Regents’ Scholar with a B.S. in Microbiology and a minor in Professional Writing from the University of California, Davis in 2017. He is interested in specializing in either infectious diseases or trauma surgery and continuing to remain involved in public health. Regina Lam is a medical student aspiring to become a pediatrician. With her undergraduate studies in public health and community work in West Philadelphia schools, she has a deep passion for public health issues.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Hi Patricia Bai 
Great reading through your idea. I like the approach of using social relationships as a way to re-imagine the approach to changing norms.
How do you envision the prototype looking like?

Photo of Patricia Bai

Hi Isaac Jumba 
Thank you for your feedback! We think tapping into the existing social relationships we each have would be a powerful way to nudge behavior and generate demand for vaccines. We envision building out the prototype as a looks-like works-like app where users can download it on their phone and scroll through a few key functions (in addition to the screenshots we have taken above). The first few iterations are going to be simple screenshots with buttons users can click to simulate a user interface, perhaps with, because we'd like to get feedback to modify accordingly before investing too much into building out the technical side of the idea. A majority of those in our community have access to smartphones and would be able to use this app - from our research, the trends in use of social media and ownership of smartphones is growing quite quickly around the world so this is a trend we'd like to leverage. We are not experts in East African culture and do not currently have access to do user testing/need definition there but would love to collaborate to see how we could adapt MapWell to a global audience given that leveraging existing social relationships and community resources through crowdsourcing behaviors could also help create demand for vaccines there as well. If internet access via computers is more popular, that could help inform the hosting of MapWell as more of an online-based platform in the communities where this is the case.

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