For the past two decades, advancements in the understanding of the human genome have created a dramatic rise in patient demand for genetic testing. This increase has, in turn, led to the growing need for genetic counselors or healthcare providers who can properly interpret genetic testing results and guide patients through healthcare plans and options. But despite the booming demand, the scarcity of certified genetic specialists makes these services out of reach for many people. However, video telehealth for genetic testing improves patient care by widening genetic counselor access to patient populations.
Interpreting Genetic Testing Results Through Video Telehealth
Video telehealth services are no longer in the “nice to have” category for genetic counselors or healthcare providers. Patients are demanding it! Video telehealth uses video conferencing technology to deliver health-related services to patients. Several studies have demonstrated the positive impact of video telehealth on the patient community. In addition, video telehealth can enhance the provider-patient relationship by providing real-time, face-to-face interactions. Therefore, interpreting genetic testing results via video telehealth is a natural progression, which can play a key role in:
- Increased patient access to genetic specialists
- Speeding up patient diagnoses
- Improve patient outcomes
- Reduce cost of care
Because most healthcare providers lack the adequate training, genetic specialists have become the most critical component in interpreting genetic testing results. And expanding those services through telehealth can have a beneficial effect on the overall patient community.
Community Impact: How Video Telehealth for Genetic Testing Improves Patient Care
Now, imagine for a moment you know a woman. Her name is Elizabeth and she lives in a small town in Ohio. Elizabeth has a family history of breast cancer and is worried that the condition may be hereditary. She purchases a DNA test kit online and sends in her test sample for analysis. Later, she gets her genetic testing results and finds that she does carry the hereditary gene for breast cancer.
Alarmed, she wonders what does this mean? And how can she prevent this illness? Elizabeth needs a specialist. But the only certified genetic counselor is located several hours away from her small Ohio town.
OK, hit the pause button. Video telehealth for genetic testing improves patient care by bridging the gap between genetic counseling services to low-access patients. In the above case. A genetic counselor, equipped with telehealth services, can quickly, and cost-effectively provide the care and guidance that Elizabeth and so many other patients desperately need. By providing virtual care, genetic counselors can maintain the provider-patient relationship while making these services more accessible and convenient.
Our story has a happy ending. Elizabeth was able to virtually connect with a genetic counselor in another town without having to drive for several hours. She is now able to make informed decisions about her future health care, including taking steps to reduce her cancer risk.
Patients are aware of video telehealth services and have come to expect it. If you are a genetic counselor or healthcare provider who does genetic testing you should seriously consider incorporating video telehealth into your daily operations.
One Touch Video Chat can build a FULLY BRANDED video telehealth chat portal on your website in less than 48 hours – lickety split!
Click here to download our Why Patients are Driving Video Telehealth Infographic.