A new report from the International Longevity Centre UK has found that various forms of technology could play a major role in overcoming some of the barriers to the uptake of adult vaccination.
The study, ‘Data, bots and drones’, was supported by a grant form Sanofi and looks at the role technology might play in increasing vaccination coverage among adults and older people by countering misinformation and fake news on the value of the vaccinations.
The report highlights the danger of the growing anti-vaccination sentiment, and how it has been been impacting on immunisation uptake across Europe and worldwide but notes that 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.
The report calls on European policy makers 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, and recognise the challenges of demographic change and ageing populations.
Jane Barratt, International Federation on Ageing, said: “Applied technology is undoubtedly a gamer changer in helping to create enabling environments that can support important personal health decisions by people of all ages, and especially older people.”
Examples of ways tech could be used include everything from influencers on Instagram addressing adult immunisation and encouraging younger generations to talk to their grandparents, to wearable technology that could measure our vital signs and signal when something isn’t normal.
Jane continued, “The ILC report highlights important innovations across the world that deserve serious attention in the charge to improve uptake rates of adult vaccination and drive a life course approach to immunisation.”