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Technology Today - New Tool Helps People Make Informed Decision on Corona Vaccine

Technology Today

With President Biden urging the nation to increase COVID-19 vaccinations, Allergy & Asthma Network, a national nonprofit patient education and advocacy organization, is releasing an innovative tool that will ease vaccine decision-making, especially for people of color and their doctors.

Allergy & Asthma Network partnered with SDMCentral, a LatinX-founded technology company in Madison, Wisconsin, to develop a Shared Decision Making tool that is conveniently designed for a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone. It can be used in a clinic, home or other gathering place.

"We know that most people want to make a decision about health care treatment as a partner with their doctors," says Sally Schoessler, Allergy & Asthma Network's Director of Education. "With COVID-19, owning the decision to get the vaccine is paramount."

African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. These groups are experiencing higher rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Shared Decision Making encourages people to take a more central and active role in their health by working with their doctors to participate in the choices involving treatments. Shared Decision Making is evidence-based and balances risks with results. Research shows that it gives patients more certainty and less anxiety about treatments, increases adherence and improves health outcomes.

The Shared Decision Making tool also helps clinicians better understand patient preferences and cultural values. People of color may want to know if the vaccine is safe and effective, get accurate information about side effects and find out if it is convenient to get the shot.

"Our goal is to use technology and smart content to reach out to patients, especially those of color, with this COVID-19 tool," SDMCentral CEO Daniel Guerra, Jr. says. 

The Shared Decision Making tool can be accessed here: