Virtual Genetic Counseling
What is virtual genetic counseling?
Virtual genetic counseling provides all of the essential services of in-person genetic counseling, it simply moves them online. This means that genetic counselors and patients can connect via any connected device, with video capabilities.
Virtual genetic counseling provides the same important services as in-person genetic counseling. This includes information and knowledge about rare disease, emotional support and counseling for those facing a rare disease diagnosis.
It also includes recommendations for targeted genetic testing, and helps patients move beyond a misdiagnosis. It can connect families to rare disease support groups and networks, and help them understand the long term care implications of their or their child’s condition.
Online genetic counseling has many benefits, both for patients and genetic counselors.
Firstly it enables patients to access the counseling from the comfort of their own home. This reduces the need for long commutes and travel times to access genetic counseling services. For families without genetic counselors in their immediate area, this is a very real benefit, and it enables them to access genetic counseling more often or more easily than if they were dependent on in-person appointments only.
Virtual genetic counseling is easy to set up. It doesn’t require complicated platforms to make it work. All it requires is a connected device with video, this can be a phone, tablet or computer. This makes it very accessible and ultimately makes it easy for patients and genetic counselors to connect from anywhere, at any time.
Virtual genetic counseling makes it easier for patients to find a genetic counselor with availability. Once they are able to connect with a global network of genetic counselors, they are not restricted by the availability of counselors in their immediate area or within traveling distance.
Why is virtual genetic counseling so important?
Greater access to genetic experts
Virtual genetic counseling is important in enabling greater access to genetic experts. This can include more specialist genetic experts also, depending on the needs of a patient, including pediatric genetic counselors, for example.
Improved access to genetic experts improves the rate of accurate diagnosis for rare disease patients. This in turn means improved long term care and life outcomes. It also reduces the rates of misdiagnosis, and ensures that a patient’s diagnostic journey not delayed.
Telegenetic counseling connects patients to genetic experts directly. It enables patients more control and choice of their genetic counselor, and how and when they meet with them. It allows patients to take greater control over their own diagnostic journey. And the better informed patients are, the more accurate their final diagnosis will be also.
Virtual genetic counseling is an important step forward in improving access to crucial genetic counseling services for rare disease patients and their families. With this improved access will come more accurate, and more timely diagnosis, thus improving the care and outcomes for all rare disease patients.