Technology based on artificial intelligence should be recognized not as a threat but as an innovation to empower patients to digest genetic information at their own pace.
Chatbots allow patients to gain baseline knowledge prior to medical appointments, promote consistency in education, and create opportunities to deepen in-person interactions and facilitate informed decision making. COVID-19 has further advanced the use of telemedicine to fully engage in patients’ health concerns.
Invitae’s Gia is the first platform to provide a solution for each step of the genetic testing process (i.e., family history collection, pre-test education, consent, the return of results, and post-test follow-up) across all medical specialties.
Utilizing artificial intelligence web-based tools may allow the reach of genetic counseling services to expand to patients who would not have previously benefited, such as those in rural areas, individuals in underserved communities or non-English speakers.
Fear exists that artificial intelligence could eventually replace genetic counselors, but chatbots instead could allow counselors to practice at the top of their scope and prioritize patients’ psychosocial needs, potentially leading to more job satisfaction.