The Greenwood Genetic Center started providing telegenetics services in 2016 to improve access and convenience for patients.

*For your safety and to ensure we are able to provide the best possible care, we will NOT conduct an appointment if you are driving. If you are driving during the scheduled appointment, we will immediately stop the call and you will be required to contact one of our offices to reschedule. Your safety and the safety of others is paramount.

What is telegenetics?

Telegenetics is the process of providing a genetics consultation and/or genetic counseling when the patient is in a different location than the healthcare provider using computers and personal devices such as smartphones or tablets. The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) strives to provide telegenetics appointments with the same high-quality level of care that patients receive in face-to-face visits.

What equipment do I need for a telegenetics visit?

You will need a device with a camera and a microphone. These devices include a smartphone, tablet, personal computer, or laptop. For appointments requiring a physical exam, a handheld device (smartphone or tablet) will likely work best. Internet access is also required through either Wi-Fi or a data plan. Data rates may apply.

What if I don’t have a mobile device or home internet?

For genetics consults, it is most often necessary for the provider to be able to physically see you/your child. If you do not have home internet service or a device with video capability, we may need to reschedule you for an in-person appointment, possibly for a later date. A telephone consult may be an option for reviewing test results or in other situations when your provider feels they can serve you well without video.

How do I prepare for a telegenetics appointment?

  • Please plan to use a quiet space in your home for the appointment. This will allow us to be able to communicate more easily with you.
  • It is important that the patient be present for the appointment.
  • You must download the free Microsoft Teams app before your scheduled appointment time. You can download the free app here:
  • If the appropriate app has not been downloaded before your appointment time, your appointment will be rescheduled. 
  • You do not need to create a Microsoft Teams account, you can log in as a guest.
  • Please make sure your device is fully charged before the appointment.
  • You will receive a secure and unique link to connect by email approximately two days before your appointment. That message will also include more instructions and helpful tips to make the telegenetics visit successful.
  • Please log on to the app approximately 5-10 minutes before your appointment time. If you log on more than 15 minutes late, your appointment will be rescheduled.
  • Other than that, prepare for a telegenetics appointment just as you would for an in-person visit.
    • Gather information regarding your family medical history including health issues, learning problems, and genetic conditions.
    • Have a complete list of medications.
    • Have the names of current physicians or other healthcare providers.
    • Collect patient photos to share with the genetic providers. These can be helpful to the geneticist in looking for patterns of physical features.
    • Have a list of questions ready to make the most of your visit. 

What should I expect during the telegenetics appointment?

While each genetics appointment is unique, most patients will first be greeted by a GGC employee for check-in and to confirm your demographic and insurance information.
Next a genetic counselor or genetic assistant will talk with you about you/your child’s medical and family history. There will be a brief break as the genetic counselor or genetic assistant shares this information with the geneticist.
The geneticist will then join the appointment. They may ask more questions, and if a physical exam is required, they will ask you to assist using the camera on your device. For example, they may ask you to show a close-up image of your/your child’s face or any birthmarks, etc. The provider will walk you through any views that are needed. Just like an in-person visit, he or she will talk with you about their impressions, answer your questions, and will discuss any genetic testing that is suggested. 

Is telegenetics covered by my insurance?

Telegenetics visits will be billed just like a typical office visit, and your insurance will be filed. You will not be billed any more than you would be for an in-person appointment.
If genetic testing is suggested, then additional laboratory charges may apply, depending upon your insurance. The cost associated with genetic testing will be discussed with you by your GGC provider before any testing is done.  

Is telegenetics secure?

The Greenwood Genetic Center follows patient privacy and security guidelines under HIPAA for all of our patients. Telegenetics visits are conducted through a  secure, encrypted channel, and any patient information gathered or transmitted through telegenetics is held to the same high standards of confidentiality that we use for in-person visits.

The Greenwood Genetic Center uses secure apps to communicate with you through a secure video link. These apps are HIPAA-compliant telehealth platforms, so your personal health information is protected. Consumer video apps such as FaceTime or Skype are not secure for medical purposes.

What happens if I/my child needs genetic testing?

If genetic testing is suggested, the testing process will be explained by your provider. They will discuss cost, insurance coverage, and how long test results will take.
For most patients during this time, we are collecting samples through a cheek swab kit. The kit and paperwork will be shipped to you to collect at home. Detailed instructions on how to collect the sample and send it in for testing are provided here.
If you have other questions before your appointment, please call the GGC office nearest you or review our ‘Telegenetics’ patient brochure (also available in Spanish)



Meet the Shenal Family

Our daughter, Ryleigh, was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal deletion shortly after she was born in 2010. Since we received her diagnosis, the Greenwood Genetic Center has become part of our family. They made certain that we did not feel alone, and they continue to provide ongoing, compassionate care for our child. The impact they have had on our family and others across the globe everyday is immeasurable. We can't imagine walking this journey without...

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