When it comes to patients and families facing a rare disease diagnosis, genetic counseling is an unmissable and critical step in the process of ensuring families receive an accurate genetic diagnosis.
ORLANDO, Fla. (PRWEB) March 22, 2021
What is genetic counseling, why is it important, and how are telehealth genetic counseling solutions making this crucial service accessible to more people?
Genetic counseling is a critical process for patients and families either at risk for a rare disease or those who have already embarked on a diagnostic journey for a genetic syndrome diagnosis.
Genetic counseling provides three essential services for patients and families:
Exploration of family medical and genetic histories to understand potential or future risk of a genetic syndrome or gene mutation.
Crucial education and information about how genetic syndromes are inherited, the process of testing for and diagnosing syndromes, the later management of life with a rare disease, and resources on preventing future occurrence and making the necessary connections with rare disease support groups and communities.
Counseling to help patients and their families understand the diagnosis they may face, the genetic, medical, and psychological implications of a diagnosis on both the patient and the rest of the family, and support for living with a rare disease.
Genetic counseling has traditionally been a service provided in-person. It has required searching for a genetic counselor in a local area and then attending a series of in-person appointments.
Despite being such a crucial service along the path to a rare disease diagnosis, in-person appointments have created obstacles to accessing genetic counselors for many patients and families. Patients living in remote areas have often traveled long distances to find genetic counseling services and counselors. Very often, genetic counselors have long waiting lists and are not always available for new patients.
Many patients face a long wait for a diagnosis, a wait that is delayed even further due to the potential inaccessibility of genetic counseling in a specific area. Even if patients and their families can find a genetic counselor, long travel distances may prevent many families from attending, as well as juggling the schedules of multiple family members to make an appointment.
Genetic counseling, however, is so critical as a part of the rare disease diagnosis journey that from this very real need has developed telehealth services and platforms providing genetic counseling services.
What does this mean? Telehealth involves providing access to patients through an online or virtual service. It might be talking to a doctor over the phone, scheduling a video call with a medical professional, or utilizing an online platform to input health information to receive a diagnosis or treatment plan.
Telehealth for genetic counseling requires a stable internet connection and access to a device that can make a video call. This allows for genetic counseling to move away from only being accessible through in-person appointments to something families can access from the comfort of their own home.
There are many benefits to providing genetic counseling virtually. It removes many obstacles to accessibility that might have delayed or hindered access to vital counseling and care for patients and their families.
Telehealth for genetic counseling connects families to genetic counselors anywhere in the country or indeed anywhere in the world. Finding a local specialist is no longer necessary, and it opens up an entire network of genetic counselors for families to choose from. It also removes issues with traveling to appointments and removes scheduling obstacles as well.
When it comes to patients and families facing a rare disease diagnosis, genetic counseling is an unmissable and critical step in the process of ensuring families receive an accurate genetic diagnosis. It also provides the necessary support to maximize the quality of life and care of a family member with a rare disease diagnosis.
To meet this need, FDNA Telehealth’s AI genetic analysis platform connects patients and their families to a global network of genetic counselors and experts who can provide remote, online, and virtual genetic counseling services.
For patients and families advised to continue their diagnostic journey with genetic testing, FDNA Telehealth can also accompany patients and parents along their way, with access to a network of global online geneticists that can be connected to through their telegenetics platform.
Access to genetic counselors, online geneticists, including pediatric geneticists, has never been easier. Connecting people to genetic specialists is FDNA’s Telehealth’s goal, as they work to reduce diagnosis waiting times, and improve the rate of accurate diagnosis, for rare disease patients and their families.