Can mobile technologies improve on-time vaccination? A study piloting maternal use of ImmunizeCA, a Pan-Canadian immunization app.
Mobile applications have the potential to influence vaccination behavior, including on-time vaccination. We sought to determine whether the use of a mobile immunization app was associated with the likelihood of reporting on-time vaccination in a cohort of 50 childbearing women. In this pilot study, we describe participant reported app use, knowledge, attitudes or beliefs regarding pediatric vaccination and technology readiness index (TRI) scores. To explore if app use is associated with change in attitudes, beliefs or behavior, participants were instructed complete a baseline survey at recruitment then download the app. A follow up survey followed 6-months later, reexamining concepts from the first survey as well as collecting participant TRI scores. Changes in Likert scores between pre and post survey questions were compared and multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between TRI score and select survey responses. Thirty-two percent of participants perceived that the app made them more likely to vaccinate on time. We found some individuals' attitudes toward vaccines improved, some became less supportive and in others there was no change. The mean participant TRI score was 3.25(IQR 0.78) out of a maximum score of 5, indicating a moderate level of technological adoption among the study cohort population. While the app was well received, these preliminary results showed participant attitudes toward vaccination moved dichotomously. Barriers to adoption remain in both usability and accessibility of mobile solutions, which are in part dependent on the user's innate characteristics such as technology readiness.