Local LatinX firm releases COVID vaccine tool for the nation’s people of color

MADISON, WI. — A LatinX tech entrepreneur from Madison, Wis., made available July 7, 2021, a free tool that he hopes will increase COVID-19 vaccinations for people of color. 

Daniel Guerra, Jr., CEO of SDM Analytics, a health technology firm, built a decision-making  tool—a device often used in health clinics— with the sponsorship of the prestigious Allergy & Asthma Network (AAN), a national patient education, research and advocacy organization located in Washington, D.C.

“African Americans, Latinos and Native American are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with higher rates of infection, hospitalization and deaths,” Guerra said. “It’s time we create decision-making tools that build trust with diverse communities and allow patients of color to own their decision.” 

Shared Decision-Making (SDM) is a step-by-step guide often completed with a nurse or doctor. It encourages people to take a more central and active role in their health by working with their doctor to choose treatments. The tool, often called an Aid, helps patients balance the risk of getting treatment with the benefits. Research shows that the process gives patients more certainty and less anxiety about treatments, increases adherence, cuts costs, and improves health outcomes.

Guerra’s technology team created its tool in a digital format, suitable for a tablet or PC desktop that can be used in a health care office, at a patient’s home or in another more culturally amenable setting, such as a gym or community center. 

People of color may seek advice during the SDM process about whether the vaccine is safe and effective, the accuracy of information about side effects, and convenient locations to get the shot.

Guerra, an active member of Madison’s LatinX community for more than a decade, said his team titled the tool Owning Your Decision as a signal to people of color that control their vaccination decision. 

The tool features video explainers, photos of people of color, and information from Black physicians and nurses. 

SDM Analytics validated the tool by using crowdsourcing with diverse doctors and patients. 

“The AAN sponsorship of the SDM Analytics tool is one of the most exciting efforts I’ve seen in my 40 years in my practice,” said Dr. Don Bukstein, a national expert in SDM and advisor to SDM Analytics.

SDM Analytics will work on several more SDM tools in the next year. 

About SDM Analytics 

SDM Analytics, founded by a Madison, Wis. LatinX entrepreneur, creates Shared-Decision Making Aids for health care professionals and patients who want to be better partners in decisions about treatment plans for chronic disease. Learn more about the new tools at SDMCentral.com

About Allergy & Asthma Network 

Allergy & Asthma Network is the leading nonprofit patient outreach, education, advocacy, and research organization for people with asthma, allergies, and related conditions. Our patient-centered network unites individuals, families, health care professionals, industry, and government decision makers to improve health and quality of life for Americans with asthma and allergies. We specialize in making accurate medical information understandable and available to all while promoting evidence-based standards of care. Learn more at AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org.