Genetic counseling services now available through video visits

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Some patients travel as long as an hour to get to the Novant Health Derrick L. Davis Cancer Center.

The health system has found a way to use technology to make those visits easier on people.

Patients can learn more about their risks for developing cancer without leaving home.

Genetic counseling services are now available through video visits.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity to leverage our technology and bring our virtual patients in,” said Betsy Johnson, director of oncology services at Novant Health Derrick L. Davis Cancer Center.

“All you need is a tablet or a Smartphone with the app,” said Kate Hughes, certified genetic counselor at the Novant Health Cancer Genetics Clinics.

Patients will need to schedule an appointment and download Novant Health’s My Chart app.

Once you log in to the app, you can find your appointment time and click the “begin” button to start the session.

The session typically lasts for 60 minutes and will focus on questions related to a person’s family history of cancer.

The service is available for all genetically linked cancers such as breast, ovarian and colon cancer.

If a patient qualifies for genetic testing, plans are then made for a blood or saliva sample to be done at home.

“The laboratory actually goes to the patient. They send a phlebotomist to your home so there is no need to come and see us at all. Results are done over the phone,” Hughes said.

Video visits have a flat fee of $50.

Some insurance plans may cover it.

You do not have to be a Novant Health patient to use this service, but you will have to download the My Chart app, which is free.

Patients who do not have a device with a webcam can use an iPad at a satellite clinic for free.

For more information call (336) 277-6000.