By Rebecca Tomasis, Content writer and SEO project manager |
The last few years have been exciting and fast-moving ones in the field of telegenetics and telemedicine. We have seen more and more telegenetics platforms coming to the market and also the development of some exciting AI-based platforms for genetic analysis and diagnosis.
What can we expect from the field of telegenetics in 2021?
A push for greater accessibility
Telegenetics is increasingly well known amongst genetic counselors and geneticists, and at the same time amongst increasing numbers of family physicians. This means that the use of telegenetics platforms is usually initiated by a clinician or doctor.
However, what we are going to see in 2021 is a greater push for accessibility, which allows patients and their families to access telegenetics platforms and diagnostic tools directly. This means patients with concerns and or symptoms of a rare disease can initiate their own genetic diagnosis. Let’s take the example of the FDNA telehealth platform. This analysis tool allows patients to schedule an online meeting with a genetic expert and allows them to directly upload a photo for facial screening, which will then generate their genetic analysis report.
This, of course, does not mean that we will see the replacement of genetic counselors and geneticists. Their roles will be as important as ever before, if not more so. In fact, this increased accessibility will mean a greater ability to be able to better connect genetic counselors and geneticists with patients directly and remotely, in the process removing obstacles to appointments, and at the same time reducing wait times for consultations.
A drive for comprehensive care
This means that telegenetics will develop, not just to provide a quicker and more accurate diagnosis, but also to provide a more complete 360 view of patients and their care. Using advanced AI technologies to generate genetic reports is an important part of telegenetics moving into 2021, but equally important are platforms that also connect patients with the necessary genetic experts. This is crucial to reach a full and comprehensive diagnosis, while also receiving essential support and assistance with the long-term management of a rare disease.
A greater emphasis on results for the patient, in terms of a diagnosis, involves combining telegenetic technology with the genetic and medical experts who can help patients manage their rare condition most effectively. Solutions that support patients throughout the entirety of their rare disease diagnosis is the future of telegenetics as it strives to deliver better patient care.
FDNA Telehealth’s approach to telegenetics doesn’t just involve advanced screening technology. It also includes a network of genetic counselors and geneticists who complement the telegenetics platform.
A clearer path to affordability
Telegenetics in 2021 is set to become much more affordable. This means making it accessible to as many people as possible, with costs coming down and greater coverage by insurance companies. It also means enabling patients more direct access to telegenetics solutions.
A demand for greater accuracy
Accuracy is the watchword for telegenetics for 2021. It won’t just be about faster analysis but will mean much more accurate diagnosis too. There is a real need in the rare disease field to reduce the number of patients misdiagnosed. Research into misdiagnosis and Ehlers Danlos, for example, shows that up to 56% of patients with the condition experienced at least one misdiagnosis before receiving a correct one. The only way to do this is with more precise and advanced technology.
FDNA’s platform has already analyzed over 250,000 rare patients and started them on their journey to a much more accurate diagnosis.
This drive for greater accuracy should be at the center of telegenetics in 2021 and beyond.
A real reduction in diagnosis times
The aim of telegenetics in 2021 will definitely be to reduce diagnosis times. Most rare disease patients currently wait, on average, up to 5 years for a correct diagnosis. In the meantime, this means their condition is not managed properly.
When it comes to genetic syndromes, improving patient care means delivering faster diagnosis for patients who so desperately need to be connected to the genetic experts that can provide the answers and support they need.
Continued advancements in AI technologies
Telegenetics in 2021 will see the development and improvement of the technologies driving telegenetics, especially in the field of genetic analysis and diagnosis. From facial screening technology to more advanced online telehealth platforms connecting patients to genetic experts, 2021 is going to be another fast-moving year when it comes to telegenetics technologies.
Telegenetics developed out of a need to make key genetic services more accessible to the patients and families who need these services most. In 2021, we expect to see telegenetics services reaching more patients and bringing more people closer to an accurate diagnosis. This, in turn, will mean a reduction in diagnostic journey times and ensure rare disease patients get the right information, support, care, and treatment for their condition.