Health website Irishhealth.com, founded by Kilkenny man John Gibbons, has just launched a new Child Immunisation Tracker app for the iPhone. The tracker is the first service of its kind in Ireland and has been designed to help parents keep track of their children’s vaccination history while also sending them timely reminders of when a further vaccination is due.
The tool is available online via the Irishhealth.com Child Immunisation Tracker channel or can be downloaded at no cost from the iTunes store. For parents who do not have an iPhone, a free web-based SMS and email reminder service is being made available as part of this initiative.
The tool has been developed in response to the challenge faced by parents of keeping track of the increased number of vaccinations that children are required to receive. It is launched at a time of growing concern that trends in non-compliance are increasing, with particular concerns raised about a decline in the uptake of meningitis vaccines. Recent data also highlights a relatively low uptake of the three doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) when compared with other vaccines – as noted in the HPSC Disease Surveillance Report in March 2011.
John Gibbons, Publisher of the hugely popular Irishhealth.com website, which has almost 150,000 registered members, commented: “The ‘Child Immunisation Tracker’ shows how user-friendly technology can deliver real public health benefits in terms of reducing the incidence of life-threatening childhood illnesses. Irish healthcare IT spending is among the lowest in the OECD. However, this initiative proves that new technologies can deliver services to dispersed populations at a fraction of the cost of conventional communication”.
The iPhone tool, which is also available in online format through the Irishhealth.com website, is downloadable free of charge from the iTunes store. The free service gives parents a secure permanent record of their child’s vaccinations which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.