Genetic testing for cancer susceptibility is now an essential component of oncologic care, which increases the need for genetic counseling specialists to assist in care of patients and their families. Testing is typically available only at large, academic facilities, leaving many providers and patients without local access to genetic counseling.
Genetic testing should always be conducted in conjunction with proper pre- and post- test counseling to contextualize the test and outline what the results may mean. As genomic applications in oncology expand, the demand for genetic expertise is increasing.
Through an NIH-funded study, Angela Bradbury and her team showed that telemedicine can be an effective way to expand genetic counseling services to populations with limited or no access to care.
Our team worked with the telemedicine program to translate this research into a sustainable business model at Penn Medicine.
Intervention and Impact
As research funding was nearing an end, our team helped the telegenetic counseling program to develop contracts to transition remote health centers, which were part of the research program, into business-to-business clients. The sites were then able to continue uninterrupted telegenetic counseling services for their patients.
Further, our team helped the program to implement new technology, such as charting and pedigree modeling, to increase the efficiency of the Penn Medicine team, therefore increasing the number of patients that can be seen, and decreasing the burden of paperwork on remote sites and patients.
The Telegenetic Counseling Program now continues research in parallel with its business program, incorporating new discoveries in research into services for partner sites and patients across the US.