Easy-to-understand genetic counseling reports will lead to more appropriate follow-up and better health outcomes
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (PRWEB) April 16, 2020
More than 600 people undergo genetic counseling and testing each year as part of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center’s High-Risk Cancer Program, which is led by two genetic counselors.
My Gene Counsel, a digital health company that provides innovative genetic counseling solutions, today announced it is teaming up with UConn’s High Risk Program to ensure that UConn’s patients who have undergone genetic testing for cancer predisposition have access to timely and accurate genetic counseling information through the online delivery of My Gene Counsel’s Living Lab Reports®. Together, My Gene Counsel and UConn Health will use state-of-the-art digital tools to efficiently communicate up-to-date genomic information that will drive an improved standard of care.
By supplementing its current genetic counseling services with My Gene Counsel’s digital counseling tools, UConn Health will serve as a leader in this space with the ability to better support patients over time in the post-test period. Patients who choose to undergo genetic testing after a discussion with a genetic counselor will receive an electronic Living Lab Report – sponsored by UConn Health and the Linda Clemens Breast Cancer Foundation – that is personalized to the individual’s genetic test results.
“Genetics can be overwhelming and confusing, so when a patient leaves my office, I worry about how much information they have retained,” said Connor Linehan, MS, LGC, a board-certified genetic counselor for the Hereditary Cancer Program at UConn Health. “Our goal, in partnering with My Gene Counsel, is to increase patient understanding, which in turn encourages appropriate medical follow-up and better health outcomes. The addition of a user-friendly genetic counseling report that patients can review before and after their appointment and over time will be invaluable to empower them to make informed decisions about their healthcare.”
Each Living Lab Report outlines the most frequently asked questions and answers on topics related to cancer risk, medical management options, relevance to family, emotional support, and available resources. This information is supported by tools to enhance understanding, such as hover dictionary and graphics.
“I encourage patients to contact us over the years as information about hereditary cancer changes over time,” said Jennifer Stroop, MS, CGC, LGC, a board-certified genetic counselor for the Hereditary Cancer Program at UConn Health. “However, this is not always easy. We are very excited to now be able to offer our patients a reference tool with continuing updates and notifications, so they feel more connected and supported in the long term.”
In addition to delivering complex genomic information in a way that patients can understand, the reports will update and notify patients automatically by text and/or email, based on their personal preferences, as new information is added or changed. These frequent updates are meant to provide the most up to date information based on the rapidly evolving data that are becoming available in regard to disease risk, medical management options, and available clinical trials.
“We are excited to partner with UConn Health, a forward-thinking health system on the cutting-edge of hereditary cancer and precision medicine,” said Ellen Matloff, MS, CGC, president and CEO of My Gene Counsel. “Their dedication to improving health through education, innovation, and patient-centered clinical care beyond the initial genetic test aligns seamlessly with our own ideals.”
Both based in Connecticut, My Gene Counsel and UConn Health are pleased to be working together to make significant contributions to the improvement of the health of Connecticut citizens.
“It is essential for UConn Health, as a major university center, to keep pace with the growing demand for up-to-date genomic information,” said Susan Tanenbaum, MD, medical director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. “With the growth of genetic information now marketed to the public, and the clear links of genetic abnormalities to cancer, the development of a robust High Risk Program to service our Connecticut population and the utilization of enhanced informatics that My Gene Counsel provides to us and those we service, we are positioning ourselves to be a State resource in this area. We are grateful to the Linda Clemens Foundation to help support such an initiative.”
About My Gene Counsel
My Gene Counsel bridges the gap between genetic testing and precision medicine by addressing one of the most critical pain points in the industry – lack of accurate and timely genetic counseling information for patients and providers. Their Living Lab Reports® deliver genetic counseling information that updates as new clinical information emerges, guidelines evolve, and genetic variants are reclassified. Founded by certified genetic counselors with 30+ years of clinical experience, My Gene Counsel empowers partners to efficiently deliver on the promise of precision medicine. For more information, visit http://www.mygenecounsel.com.
About UConn Health
UConn Health is Connecticut’s only public academic medical center. Based on a 206-acre campus in Farmington, UConn Health has a three-part mission: research, teaching and patient care. Home to the UConn School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine and UConn John Dempsey Hospital with nearly 5,000 employees supporting nearly 1,000 students, over 800,000 annual patient visits, and innovative scientific research contributing to the advancement of medicine. For more information, visit http://www.health.uconn.edu.