mHealth for Better Routine Immunization Data in Honduras (2017-2018)

Vaccinations are a highly cost-effective public health intervention that prevent over 2.5 million childhood deaths a year. However, children in resource-limited settings remain susceptible to preventable infections due to delays in, refusal to accept or lack of access to vaccinations.

This Bass Connections project built on a previous team’s comparative analysis of routine immunization programs in Ghana and Honduras. In response to findings, the 2017-2018 team focused on creating an mHealth (mobile health) system for better routine immunization data in Roatán, Honduras.

Collaborating with Clinica Esperanza, a low-cost provider of medical services in Roatán, the team built, tested and evaluated mVax, an app designed to streamline the process of recording immunization data and improve record collection, access and storage.

Team members travelled to Roatán throughout the app development process to train users, pilot the mVax system, talk to key stakeholders, incorporate recommendations, scale up the system and assess the acceptability of and satisfaction with the app from health provider and patient points of view.


Spring 2017 – Fall 2018

Team Outcomes

mHealth for Better Routine Immunization Data in Honduras (mVax) (poster by Linh Bui, Alison Huang, Robert Steinberg, Matthew Tribby, Kathryn Watkins, Steven Yang), presented at Bass Connections Showcase, April 18, 2018; Computer Science Undergraduate Project Showcase (Research Project Winner), April 2018; Global Health Research Showcase, November 2017

Linh Bui ’20, Rob Steilberg ’18 and Kate Watkins ’19, Bass Connections Follow-on Student Research Award

mVax summary posted on GitHub

Barriers to Childhood Vaccine Uptake in a Migrant Community in Roatan, Honduras (oral presentation by Kathryn Watkins at Global Health & Innovation Conference, Yale University, New Haven, CT, April 13-14, 2019)

This Team in the News

These Seniors Took Their Bass Connections Research Further and Graduated with Distinction

Team Develops mHealth App to Improve Collection, Access and Storage of Vaccination Data

2018-2019 Rights Writers Announced

New mHealth App Streamlines the Vaccination Process

Duke Seniors Share What Was Most Meaningful about Their Bass Connections Experiences

Bass Connections Showcase Presents Research Highlights from Durham to Malaysia

Undergraduate Project Showcase 2018

Global Health Projects Featured Prominently among Bass Connections Awards

Meet the 2018 Recipients of Bass Connections Follow-on Research Awards

I feel lucky having found a project at Duke that is a concrete application of the skills I’ve learned both in class and on my own. My studies in computer science have shown me that the two things I love most are programming and building new things that solve problems. Working on the mVax team has let me do both, ultimately culminating in a project that is going to make a real impact on someone else. Solving others’ problems is a guideline for what I do, and it has been great to achieve that through Bass Connections. –Rob Steilberg ’18

See related teams, Interculturally Competent Analysis of the Uptake of Routine Vaccination (2015-2016) and Vaccine Misinformation and Its Link to Vaccine Hesitancy and Uptake in Durham (2018-2019).

Bass Connections team members in Honduras

Team Leaders

  • Dennis Clements, School of Medicine-Pediatrics: Infectious Diseases
  • Richard Lucic, Arts & Sciences-Computer Science
  • Lavanya Vasudevan, School of Medicine-Family Medicine and Community Health

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Thuy-Linh Bui, Computer Science (AB)
  • Alison Huang, Computer Science (BS)
  • Samantha Siegel, Computer Science (BS)
  • Robert Steilberg, Computer Science (BS)
  • Matthew Tribby, Computer Science (BS)
  • Kathryn Watkins, Biology (BS)
  • Steven Yang, Computer Science (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Robert Duvall, Arts & Sciences-Computer Science
  • Christina Makarushka, Duke Global Health Institute-Center for Health Policy

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Clinica Esperanza, Honduras
  • Offices of the Secretariat of Health, Roatan, Honduras