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Aetna Exploring iPad Solution for Reduced Tobacco Use

The company is working with Columbia University to develop a clinical decision support system that dentists can use to encourage their patients to quit smoking.

Related: An interview with Aetna CIO Michael Matthias

Hartford-based Aetna is studying with Columbia University how effective dentists' use of a clinical decision support system is in reducing tobacco use among their patients.

The health insurer defines a clinical decision support system as "a system designed to integrate a medical knowledge base, patient data and decision support technology to generate case specific advice." Called the Dental Tobacco Cessation I-Pad, it is set to be piloted with New York-area Aetna network dentists on such aspects dentist practice preferences and dental office workflow integration.

“The program is designed as an innovative interface between patients and dentists and we anticipate that devices like the iPad can be used to break down barriers between clinicians’ and their patients,” says Dr. David Albert, director of the division of community health at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. “We will evaluate if we are able to encourage and assist dentists to provide tobacco cessation advice and assistance for their patients who use tobacco products. Tobacco use poorly affects the mouth and teeth and the patient’s overall health. Helping patients to quit tobacco use is a goal that the US Public Health Service encourages all dentists to adopt.”

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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