geomap your social network's health behaviors, using social encouragement to empower vaccine hesitant parents to vaccinate their kids
Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one to two sentences (required 350 Characters)
MapWell geo-maps health behaviors of your friends and local community, where visualization of data like immunizations rates in your community and information on nearby immunization clinics will connect the mobile and rapidly growing number of urban citizens to existing community resources to support immunization.
Explain the innovation (2,500 characters)
Kelly is a vaccine hesitant parent who wants the best for her child. She recently moved to a new city and has legitimate concerns about vaccine safety. Though she knows about benefits of vaccines, 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 neighbors have walked daily, and immunization rates in her community. In order to help Kelly and her family integrate into her new community, 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 parents who have vaccinated their kids and can reach out to connect for more on their story. Because she often moves, MapWell can also connect her with local doctor's offices, immunization clinics, and health services to match her mobile lifestyle. Not only does MapWell provide information on immunization resources, but it also facilitates social connections to help her adjust to new communities, after which social encouragement can be used to increase healthy behaviors like staying up to date on vaccinations.
Traditional public health approaches that are 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 . In fact, the percentage of parents who intend to vaccinate their children decreases with education if parents were most averse to vaccination at baseline. Therefore, more creative approaches that separate data driven discussion from the decision-making process can be an alternative approach. Further, past health behavior research has demonstrated that social encouragement and community beliefs can affect individual behavior more than incentive approaches or increased knowledge  . Therefore, a solution that capitalizes on the effects social encouragement on individual action could be immensely valuable.
Which part(s) of the world does this innovation target?
This intervention targets Maricopa County, Arizona, the community we live in with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States. It also has among the most lenient personal belief exemption laws in the country.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
We plan to have a multi-pronged approach that engages 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 have also started 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.
How is your idea unique? (750 characters)
Vaccine-hesitant parents often do not want to be identified as such, given strong polarization around the topic and the potential for social shaming. MapWell will allow vaccine-hesitant parents to see vaccine data in local communities they move to. 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 not only facilitate social connection but will also leverage trusted community relationships to reach mobile, vaccine-hesitant parents.
What is the name of your organization
We are a self-assembled team of passionate medical students at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, with community partners we could work with
Explain your organization (250 characters)
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.
Type of Submitter
We are not yet a registered organization but looking for collaborative partners
Community-led organization (CBO)
medical school students
Gender and Diversity (500 characters)
We are a team of three that is diverse in gender, race, and personal experiences. We have interviewed a diversity of people for user and stakeholder research and we will include people from different backgrounds in app development and testing. A diversity of thought and user feedback is crucial in MapWell's mission to reach out to parents and families to bring quality immunization services to Arizona communities in need.
Organization Location (less than 250 Characters)
Size of organization (number of employees):
Scale of organizational work
Community (working within one or a few local communities within a region)
Tell us more about you
Patricia Bai is building a career to use design thinking to build creative solutions to tackle complex healthcare challenges. As a 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 global health in underserved communities, having spent a year abroad in Haiti as a Medical Missionaries Global Health Fellow. He is interested in specializing in infectious diseases. Regina Lam is a medical student aspiring to become a pediatrician. In the past, she has designed health curricula on healthy eating, lead poisoning, and asthma care for Philadelphia elementary schools and looks forward to developing a successful intervention to increase immunization rates.