Digital intervention increases vaccination rates among people with diabetes

Evidation is sharing the results of a study conducted in partnership with Sanofi that show convenient, low-cost digital messaging can improve the rate of influenza vaccination in people with diabetes.  The study was recently published in npj Digital Medicine, a Nature Portfolio journal. Results are also discussed in detail by study authors in a post on the journal’s blog.

More than 10,000 Americans enrolled in the study on Evidation’s Achievement app, which enables anyone to participate in ground-breaking research. The study’s primary endpoint was to examine the difference in self-reported flu vaccination rates in people with diabetes who received a digital intervention and people with diabetes who did not. Intervention content included monthly messages featuring educational content and a call to action, such as finding the nearest flu vaccination clinic site.  Incentives were provided in the form of in-app points to those participants who completed recommended actions.

At six months, 64.2% of participants in the intervention group reported flu vaccination, compared to only 61.1% of people in the control group. Completion of one or more intervention messages was associated with up to an 8% increase in vaccination rate.  Digital engagement with the vaccination campaign messages—opening, reading, and/or clicking on messages—varied between 17% and 25% across the different messages. Participants that showed higher engagement rates with the campaign messages were more likely to report a vaccination. The increase in vaccination rate seen in this study is higher than that previously seen by Evidation in other digital interventions for increasing influenza vaccination rates.

“Influenza can be dangerous for people with diabetes, and an annual flu vaccine is a ‘must-have’ component of self-care,” said David Kerr, MD, Director of Innovation at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute and co-author. “This new study shows how effective digital technology can be in making sure that as many people with diabetes as possible have their flu shot and at a very low cost. This could be a model for other vaccination programs.”

“In this study, we were able to engage individuals at scale with evidence-based, personalized interventions to achieve meaningful behavioral change. Increasing influenza vaccination is essential to protect vulnerable individuals, including those with chronic conditions, especially with the rise of COVID-19,” said Luca Foschini, PhD, Evidation Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist.

The flu affects approximately 21 million people in the United States every year, resulting in significant burdens to the economy and public health. Vaccination remains the most effective way to reduce the risk of death or hospitalization. People with diabetes face particularly high risks of complications from influenza, including pneumonia, cardiovascular events, hospitalizations, and premature death. Although the rate of vaccination for influenza is higher in individuals living with diabetes than in the general adult population, it is still below the recommended rate of 70%.

Qualified researchers may request access to the aggregate results and related study documents. For more information, visit evidation.com or email [email protected]

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