An article published in European Journal of Human Genetics address an interesting issue of including telemedicine to overcome physical and economic barriers to providing genetic services. The authors assessed the use of telegenetic usage among genetic professionals in Europe and found that its usage was limited. Telephone genetic counselling was used by 17% of the respondents, while videoconferencing was used to a lesser extent. The respondents cited many constraints that dissuaded them from using telegenetic modalities.
The authors advocate “professional cooperation, sharing knowledge, and establishing guidelines on a national and international level” to combat these constraints. Additionally, the authors recommend involving “both professionals and patients in establishing and expanding telegenetics initiatives and in establishing practical guidelines” as it is done in the United States by the American Telemedicine Association for various disciplines. They believe establishing a European Working Group on telegenetics addressing the constraints mentioned in the article would help with its wider application.