Chatbots in Genetic Counseling: Genetic counseling chatbots have recently been created, with a few at present being used. As the interest in and demand for genetic testing has increased, the interest for genetic counselors –specialists prepared to assist patients with comprehension and utilize genetic information – is increasing. 

There are presently more than 4800 confirmed genetic counselors in North America. Clear Genetics, a healthcare innovation company situated in San Francisco, has teamed up with genetic counselors working in an assortment of patient-care settings to build up a chatbot named GIA (Genetic Information Assistant).

GIA is a clinical-grade chatbot who helps patients seeking genetic counseling, risk assessment, and testing. 

what are chatbots?

Chatbots are programming-based simulated conversation tools. Chatbots utilize artificial intelligence and natural language processing to respond to straightforward inquiries, increase and keep up user engagement, promote services, and give helpful, simple access to consumers and service providers.

The use of Chatbots in Medicine: Chatbots in Genetic Counseling

As chatbots have become more complex, their utilization has ventured into different zones, including the field of medication.

Chatbots have been directed and utilized for patients with a wide assortment of health concerns and ailments. Instances of more general health applications include mental and physical health (e.g., positive psychology, healthy habits), addictions (e.g., alcoholism, smoking), and sexually transmitted illnesses (e.g., AIDS/HIV, syphilis).

Now and again, the chatbot is designed to work as a counselor or guide, for example, for users battling with addictions or determined with sexually transmitted sicknesses. 

A significant number of investigations about chatbots in the medical field everywhere center around patient experiences or on patients’ thoughts about utilizing chatbots all in all.

By and large, patients feel that chatbots can be useful, even though there is a small rate who incline toward utilizing them just for logistical applications, (for example, making appointments) and would like to see a doctor face to face to talk about their health concerns. 

Let’s take a look at the role of chatbots in genetic counseling: 

There are as of now several chatbots have been created and are being used by genetic counselors. The most notable is the chatbot called GIA, which represents Genetic Information Assistant, created by Clear Genetics.

This chatbot was created in association with Geisinger Health Systems and GeneMatters, an organization that gives telehealth genetic counseling services.

In November 2019, GIA was purchased by Invitae, a genetic testing company that was utilizing the chatbot as a part of their patient-initiated testing portal. 

GIA was created with input from genetic counselors and has three distinct interfaces, every one of which has a different capacity that can be utilized freely.

These incorporate interfaces intended to, for instance, consent patients to research studies, catch up with patients after their hereditary test outcomes return, and be imparted to family members to unveil positive test results and talk about their choices for genetic testing and counseling. 

Each of the three of these chatbot interfaces is being utilized at Geisinger areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a feature of the MyCode Community Health Initiative.

Members in this study give tests, including blood, for use in the research on the cardiovascular, disease, and other medical issues, for example, cystic fibrosis and familial hypercholesterolemia. 

As a part of the exploration study, members’ DNA is tried for variants, or changes, that may incline them to create or may even reason one of these conditions.

On the off chance that one of these variations is recognized, the patient is advised and is offered an opportunity to address a genetics provider who is part of the Geisinger team or to their medical provider about the outcome in more detail (“What is MyCode?”). 

Every one of the three interfaces of the GIA chatbot is being utilized by the MyCode members. For instance, one interface is being utilized to agree to them to the research study.

If a variation is identified in their DNA after their outcome is disclosed, they are offered the choice of utilizing the development chatbot interface to help them to remember suggestions made by their health care team. 

Examples include meeting with an expert provider or starting significant screening or risk-reducing activities that were suggested at the time that they got their results.

These people can likewise send their relatives a GIA chatbot interface that will clarify the patients’ test results and what suggestions these results can have for their family members. 

It is important to take note that as of now, no chatbot developed for genetic counseling has been used to restore genetic test results.

Any chatbot that is being utilized related to genetic testing is being offered to patients either before testing has happened or after the outcomes have been given.

This is the situation for the GIA chatbot, in which all genetic test outcomes are given to patients by genetic counselors before including either the subsequent interface or the family course interface, or both, depending on patient preference.

Conclusion

The point of this study is to decide whether genetic counselors are keen on utilizing chatbots designed explicitly for their profession and, assuming this is the case, what information these chatbots ought to incorporate.

To evaluate this, a survey was intended to get some information about their utilization of chatbots, as a rule, their knowledge of genetic counseling chatbots explicitly, and their thoughts on what information should be included in genetic counseling chatbots.

Read More: What Is A Chatbot And How To Promote Chatbot?

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