July 2020 – As of this month four clinics partnered with Medicover Genetics to provide genetic counselling through Telemedicine, as part of an ongoing collaboration with PhilonMed, a subsidiary of HealthCare Futurist GmbH, known for launching the first "without a doctor's practice" in Spiegelberg, Germany. The service will be expanded to more clinics in the future.
The pilot project started in January 2020, a few months after the German legislation was rectified to allow genetic counselling via telemedicine (using a special software supported by video conferencing for the remote counselling of patients by physicians). Medicover Genetics began to deliver quality video genetic counselling sessions in partnership with PhilonMed. As of April, experienced Medical Geneticists, from Human Genetics Berlin-Mitte and Berlin-Lichtenberg clinics, have been offering video consultation to patients who register for the service in partner clinics throughout Germany. Two more partner clinics have already applied to join the program and will be fully running by August.
Dr. Stefan Mehrle, Head of Genetics, Diagnostic Services, Medicover says: “Patients suspected to suffer from genetic disorders are in need of answers and expert genetic counselling is imperative to be able to provide the right medical support. With a specialized tool providing seamless genetic counselling anywhere in Germany and beyond, Medicover Genetics brings its expert knowledge to patients when they need it and where they need it. This is yet another step in our journey to provide meaningful insights to our patients and to go beyond the scope of providing the right diagnosis at the right time but also to accompany our patients during all stages of their diagnostic journey.”
While telehealth technology is not new, widespread adoption has been slow. Meanwhile, the request for remote access to healthcare services has increased, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the need of both, social distancing and reducing the burden on healthcare systems. Genetic counselling is offered throughout the diagnostic journey; before testing, so that a patient understands the purpose and possible outcomes of the genetic test, and after testing so that a patient can better understand the results as well as implications of a diagnosis and potential management and/or treatments options. Through our Telemedicine solution, Medicover Genetics offers the patients and their families the medical and psychological support when they need it most.