Introducing Human Understanding a new podcast series from Myriad Women’s Health. Each episode highlights real stories of providers in our communities who are managing through the current pandemic and revolutionizing patient care. They will be sharing actionable tips that may help in your own practice.
Dr. Richard Frieder* is an OBGYN physician and a cancer genetics specialist in Southern California with many years of experience practicing telemedicine. In this podcast, Dr. Frieder explains how necessity, the mother of invention, is driving a shift in patient care towards telemedicine. He likens telemedicine to a new technology, such as cell phones, which at one time seemed special and rare, but is quickly becoming a necessary tool.
Dr. Frieder shares a recent story of a new patient that he interacted with entirely through virtual consultation during the pandemic. She is a young woman with a family history of ovarian cancer and a known BRCA mutation in the family. Using Myriad’s new virtual genetic testing offering, Dr Frieder was able to assess medical necessity and order a myRisk Hereditary Cancer Test virtually and Myriad shipped a kit directly to the patient to collect the sample. The test results showed she carries the same deleterious BRCA1 mutation as her father. In their virtual results disclosure consultation, they were able to discuss the results and medical management options that can reduce her risk of cancer.
Before COVID-19, Dr. Frieder saw about 70% of his patients by telemedicine. After COVID-19, this percentage has only increased. He believes it is possible to build trusting relationships with patients virtually. He explains how telemedicine is beneficial for both patients and providers, and shares details about how he operationally practices telemedicine. With Myriad’s ability to send a test kit to a patient’s home, he can virtually offer hereditary cancer genetic testing to his patients to reduce their risk of cancer while keeping them safe at home.
Telemedicine is going to be a lasting outcome from this pandemic. Dr. Frieder shares, “Today in the COVID era, telemedicine is a necessity. And it is not going to change. In fact, it is exciting to think that we can re-create our practices and find new ways to provide better care to our patients and their families.”
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*Dr. Richard Frieder is a consultant for Myriad and member of Myriad’s speaker bureau. Other healthcare providers referenced in the Human Understanding podcast series are consultants for Myriad and members of Myriad’s speaker bureau.