Health Apps

QuickVaccine: Technological innovation for adult immunization in Spain

03/05/2024

In Spain, adult vaccination rates are worryingly low, posing a challenge to public health. Recent data reveals that only 30% of the adult population has received the pneumococcal vaccine, and less than 50% are immunized against seasonal flu. This scenario increases the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as raising healthcare costs, negatively impacting the economy and the well-being of the population.

In response to this situation, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, in collaboration with the Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research (IRYCIS) and GooApps, a leading agency in the development of technological solutions for health, have developed QuickVaccine. This innovative application is designed to increase vaccination coverage among adults in Spain through personalized recommendations based on multiple factors, including age, geographical location, and specific health conditions.

Throughout this article, we will analyze how the idea for QuickVaccine was conceived, the challenges encountered in its development, the technological solutions applied, and the impact it has had since its implementation. Through this success story, we will explore how effective collaboration between health institutions and technology experts can lead to innovative solutions that improve public health management and establish new standards in preventive healthcare.

Context and need

Adult immunization is a fundamental pillar of public health that, unfortunately, has not received the necessary attention in Spain. The low vaccination coverage in this segment of the population is associated with an increase in the prevalence of preventable diseases, such as influenza, diabetes, and pneumococcus, which affect individuals’ quality of life and add an extra burden to the healthcare system. These diseases, particularly severe in older adults and people with pre-existing conditions, can lead to prolonged hospitalizations and, in extreme cases, death.

Faced with this reality, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, in collaboration with the Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research (IRYCIS), took the initiative to proactively address this issue by developing a tool to change the lack of vaccination habits in adults. Recognizing the need for an integrated strategy that involved both health professionals and citizens, QuickVaccine was conceived. This application seeks to facilitate access to necessary vaccination information and personalize health recommendations, thus encouraging a higher rate of immunization.

Dr. Abelardo Fernández Chávez, the project leader and main driver of QuickVaccine, emphasized the importance of this effort by stating, “Our mission is not only to treat diseases but to prevent them. Adult immunization has been long neglected, and with QuickVaccine, we aim to establish a new culture of health prevention.” This statement underscores the project’s vision to transform public perception of vaccination, making it an integral part of personal health care in the adult population.

Development of QuickVaccine

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First steps and conceptualization of the idea

The development of QuickVaccine began with a detailed analysis of the vaccination needs of the adult population, identifying existing gaps in knowledge and the administration of vaccines to adults. Experts from Ramón y Cajal Hospital, along with specialists from IRYCIS, worked together to define the requirements and specifications that the application should meet to be effective and accessible. The goal was clear: to develop a tool that informed and also motivated users to take proactive action in managing their preventive health.

Collaboration with GooApps

For the technical execution of the project, GooApps was selected due to its reputation in developing user-centric medical applications. The choice was based on previous satisfactory experiences, such as the notable development of the Prevemama app, which had established a precedent for quality and commitment from GooApps. The collaboration was formalized with a focus on transparency and constant communication, ensuring that the medical specifications and needs of the end-users were adequately translated into technological solutions.

Development phases

  1. Algorithm creation: The first phase of development involved creating an algorithm capable of generating personalized vaccination recommendations based on demographic, health, and regional variables. This algorithm was designed to be dynamic, allowing continuous updates according to new health guidelines and medical discoveries.
  2. Technological development of the application: Subsequently, GooApps took the algorithm and designed an intuitive user interface that facilitated simple navigation and a pleasant user experience. The application was developed using the latest technological innovations, ensuring its functionality on both mobile devices and desktop platforms.
  3. Launch: The final phase consisted of launching the application, which included a series of beta tests with real users to collect feedback and make necessary adjustments. The promotion of the application was supported by awareness campaigns involving doctors, patients, and the media, in order to maximize its reach and effectiveness.

Challenges encountered and solutions

During the development of QuickVaccine, the team encountered some difficulties, as is common in any innovative project, including integrating extensive and complex medical databases into a user-friendly system. Data privacy protection was another concern, resolved by implementing rigorous security measures and complying with data protection regulations.

Each of these challenges was addressed with a systematic and collaborative approach, allowing the project to achieve its initial goals and also laying the foundation for future expansions and improvements.

Functionality and benefits of QuickVaccine

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How QuickVaccine works

QuickVaccine is an application designed to simplify and personalize the management of adult vaccination. Using different algorithms, the app generates vaccination recommendations based on a series of clinical and demographic factors provided by the user, such as age, gender, pre-existing health conditions, place of residence, and whether they live with immunocompromised patients or not. Additionally, QuickVaccine includes specific functionality for vaccination recommendations for international travelers, taking into account destinations and potential exposures to specific diseases in each region.

The application interface is clear and easy to navigate. Users can register their profile and receive personalized notifications about their vaccination schedule. It also allows users to access detailed information about each vaccine, including benefits, possible side effects, and expected efficacy. Moreover, the application also seeks to act as a record of vaccination history so that doctors can keep track of their patients.

Benefits for users

QuickVaccine offers multiple benefits designed to improve the vaccination experience for adults:

  • Personalization: Each vaccination recommendation is personalized, ensuring that users receive the most relevant and evidence-based information.
  • Ease of use: The application has been designed to be intuitive, allowing users of all ages to easily navigate its features.
  • Accessibility: Usable on both mobile devices and desktop platforms, QuickVaccine ensures that users can access their recommendations anytime and anywhere.
  • Education: The app provides educational information that helps users understand the importance of each vaccine, thus improving disease prevention awareness.

Testimonials from users and medical professionals

Testimonials from those who have used QuickVaccine highlight its positive impact on both individual users and the medical community. One user commented, “QuickVaccine has helped me understand what vaccines I need and why. It’s like having a doctor in my pocket who reminds me when and why to get vaccinated.”

From the medical professionals’ side, the feedback has also been extremely positive. A doctor from Ramón y Cajal Hospital noted, “The application has transformed the way we track vaccinations in our practice. It allows us to ensure that our patients are up-to-date with their vaccines, which is essential, especially for immunocompromised patients.”

These testimonials demonstrate how QuickVaccine has improved individual health management, in addition to supporting medical professionals in providing more informed and precise care. The combination of technology, accessibility, and personalization positions QuickVaccine as an indispensable tool in the field of preventive medicine.

Impact and  results of QuickVaccine

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Since its implementation, QuickVaccine has received widespread recognition for its functionality and its positive impact on both patients and healthcare professionals at Ramón y Cajal Hospital. Initial user feedback has been very positive, particularly highlighting the application’s intuitive interface and the usefulness of personalized vaccination recommendations. Doctors and healthcare staff have noticed a significant improvement in the efficiency of vaccine management, facilitating better tracking of patients’ vaccination schedules, which is key to increasing coverage rates.

QuickVaccine’s potential for national adult vaccination management

The initial success of QuickVaccine at Ramón y Cajal Hospital has demonstrated its potential to improve adult vaccination management nationwide. The application’s ability to adapt to the specific needs of different populations and regions makes it an indispensable tool for implementation in other hospitals and autonomous communities. With its personalized and evidence-based approach, QuickVaccine has the potential to effectively address disparities in vaccine coverage and improve the adult vaccination rate across Spain.

Future plans for the expansion and update of the application

The team behind QuickVaccine is committed to its continuous improvement and expansion. Future plans include:

  • Geographic expansion: Expand the use of QuickVaccine to more hospitals and clinics throughout Spain, establishing collaborations with public institutions to tailor the application to the specific needs of different communities.
  • Technological updates: Continue developing new features and improving existing ones to ensure that the application remains a technological and medical reference.
  • Integration of user feedback: Implement a structured system to collect and analyze user feedback, allowing for quick and efficient adjustments that improve user experience and app effectiveness.
  • Education and awareness: Increase education and awareness initiatives about the importance of adult vaccination, working together with public and private institutions to promote a culture of health prevention.

Through these efforts, QuickVaccine hopes to consolidate its presence in the Spanish market and establish a new standard in preventive healthcare, making adult vaccination more accessible, efficient, and tailored to the individual needs of each user.

Collaboration and technological support

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Ongoing collaboration between Ramón y Cajal Hospital, IRYCIS, and GooApps

The collaboration between Ramón y Cajal Hospital, the Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research (IRYCIS), and GooApps has been fundamental for the development and ongoing success of QuickVaccine. This multidisciplinary partnership has allowed the combination of medical, research, and technological expertise to create a solution that effectively addresses the vaccination needs of adults. The collaboration is not limited to the initial development of the application but is a continuous effort involving the constant updating of medical content, technological improvements, and dissemination strategies to ensure that the app remains relevant and effective.

Role of GooApps in technical support and promotion of the application

GooApps has played a key role in both the technological development of the interface and functionalities of QuickVaccine, as well as in providing ongoing technical support and assistance in promoting the app. Their experience in developing medical applications has been a crucial factor in ensuring that the technology of QuickVaccine is robust, secure, and easy to use. Additionally, GooApps has contributed in areas beyond technological development, such as support in finding funding and acquiring customers for the application.

Synergies between Ramón y Cajal Hospital and GooApps

Dr. Abelardo Fernández Chávez, the main driver of the project at Ramón y Cajal Hospital, highlighted the team synergy by saying: “Collaborating with GooApps has been essential to transform our vision into a tangible reality. Their understanding of our clinical needs and their ability to translate them into a functional technological platform has been key to the success of QuickVaccine.” He also added: “Another aspect to highlight about GooApps is their involvement in aspects that may not be related to technical development, such as acquiring customers for the application, by establishing mutual contacts with the hospital, showing an involvement that is unusual in technology development agencies. Last but not least, GooApps has also helped in obtaining endorsements, by providing technical documentation and graphic resources.”

For his part, Eric García, CEO of GooApps, echoed these sentiments by commenting: “Working with Ramón y Cajal Hospital and IRYCIS has been an extraordinary experience. The opportunity to apply our technology to such a significant public health cultural need has allowed us to grow as a company and actively contribute to improving people’s health. The collaboration has been fluid, and we are committed to continuing to support and improve QuickVaccine so that it remains a leading application in adult vaccination.”

Final thoughts

QuickVaccine represents a solution to a specific public health problem in Spain. By personalizing vaccination recommendations and making critical information accessible through mobile and web technology, this application has proven its ability to effectively and efficiently increase vaccination coverage. QuickVaccine illustrates how the integration of technology in preventive medicine can facilitate more proactive and patient-centered health management, which in turn can lead to a significant reduction in the incidence of preventable diseases and associated healthcare costs.

Invitation to adopt the technology

Given the effectiveness of QuickVaccine, we extend a cordial invitation to other hospitals and autonomous communities to consider adopting this technology. The application has been designed with the necessary flexibility to adapt to different demographics and regional needs, offering a scalable and adaptable solution that can benefit any Spanish community. Adopting QuickVaccine can be a step forward towards improving public health and the efficiency of healthcare services in other regions.

Participation in future developments

For those interested in learning more about QuickVaccine or participating in its ongoing development, we invite hospitals, health professionals, and health authorities to contact us. We are open to collaborations that can enrich and expand the application’s functionality, as well as to explore new opportunities for its implementation and improvement. Interested parties can access more details through our contact form and can request a demonstration or a training session on how QuickVaccine can be integrated into more healthcare systems.

It is an invitation to adopt a proven tool and an opportunity to be part of an innovative initiative that is setting new standards in preventive healthcare. Together, we can continue to advance towards a more informed, proactive, and preventive health system.

GooApps: We design apps for and by people.

 

 

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