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House approves plan for podcasts

San Antonio—In Resolution 29H-2008, the House of Delegates approved a plan for the ADA to produce a year-long series of video podcasts for the public on a variety of oral health topics.

"Our younger patient demographics—young adults and teenagers—are not typically receiving information from traditional mainstream media," said Dr. David Dodell, a consultant on the project and a past member of the Council on Communications, the agency developing the podcasts. "Podcasts give us the potential to reach a younger, Web-savvy patient demographic and ensure that these patients get the most accurate oral health information."

"The ADA is recognized as the best resource for oral health information, but we face new challenges when it comes to translating that information in a way that is relevant to the public," added Dr. Peter Carroll, chair of the ADA Council on Communications. "This is another way that we can increase the presence of the ADA as a trusted resource to the public and promote a positive image of the ADA and dentistry."

Podcasts are video and audio productions posted on the Internet and designed for playback on computers or portable digital players like iPods. The ADA podcasts will be about 5 minutes in length and address consumer health topics like the importance of oral hygiene, risk factors related to oral cancer, the importance of oral health to overall health, the effect of energy drinks on oral health and oral health during pregnancy.

There is an entirely new generation of patients, generally in the 18-35 age range, that has grown up online, said Dr. Dodell. This younger segment of the population tends to receive information from newer media sources on the Internet. They are the heaviest consumers of online videos, which are now watched by 70 percent of Americans—according to a June 2008 report from comScore, a service that evaluates the size of a Web site's audience.

The ADA podcasts will be presented in an informal style that appeals to viewers who increasingly get their health news from alternative media, said Dr. Dodell.

"The Internet is not cut and dry like the evening news," he said. "The presentation will have to be lighter in tone, perhaps even humorous."

About 40 ADA members submitted audition videos earlier this year to host the podcasts. The host selected by the ADA will be announced by February.