SAN FRANCISCO, April 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Invitae (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company today announced new tools to help obstetrician/gynecologists, oncologists, genetic counselors and other clinicians who order genetic tests via telemedicine for women and couples early in pregnancy and for patients with cancer. Invitae's advanced clinical chatbot, Gia, provides an end-to-end telemedicine genetic testing framework that helps identify patients who need germline genetic testing.
The need for streamlined solutions to patient education and intake has been growing, becoming more acute during the current pandemic. Clinicians are rapidly turning to telemedicine to provide continuity of care for patients who face disruptions to clinic visits, such as women who are newly pregnant or patients with cancer. Adapting to remote care requires tools that make it easier to replace tasks that were previously handled in-person, such as patient education or information gathering. In response, Invitae has added new telehealth workflows to Gia for clinicians.
"The needs of pregnant women and people with cancer haven't stopped during the current crisis, nor has clinicians' desire to provide the best possible care. What has changed for our customers is the best way for clinicians to meet their patients' needs," said Robert Nussbaum, M.D., chief medical officer of Invitae. "Genetic testing plays an important role in clinical care. We've expanded Gia's capabilities to give clinicians a virtual go-between that can handle many elements of patient education, identification and information gathering involved in genetic testing. Coupled with our ability to ship test kits to and from a patient's home that use saliva and do not require phlebotomy, we can help clinicians continue to provide care from afar."
Gia, which stands for "genetic information assistant," streamlines communication between patients and clinicians, helping to automate pretest education and genetic testing. Gia was designed in partnership with genetic counselors and has already been deployed by major academic health systems. She is HIPAA-compliant and SOC-2 certified. Gia has helped thousands of patients and has a 92% patient satisfaction rate.
Helping cancer patients continue to receive testing
The response to the pandemic has impacted cancer care significantly, with professional and patient advocacy groups suggesting screening tests, including mammograms, clinician appointments, in-office treatments and surgeries be delayed or cancelled. Genetic testing is one element of cancer care that can be successfully continued via telehealth so the results can be used to help guide clinical decisions.
Gia has been expanded specifically for use by oncologists and cancer genetic counselors to identify cancer patients who should receive testing and enabling that testing by using an at-home saliva kit. Gia facilitates a comprehensive genetic testing service that includes patient identification, pre-test education, post-test support and automated documentation that is available 24/7. Gia can also help identify patients that may be at increased risk for breast, endometrial, ovarian, pancreatic, colon and prostate cancer and may benefit from genetic testing as a screening tool.
Ensuring access to testing in early pregnancy
Early in pregnancy, genetic tests help women and their clinicians understand and screen for potential risks of genetic conditions. Carrier screening provides information on the risk of passing on a genetic condition and non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) screens for genetic conditions and can predict the baby's sex. With many OB/GYNs limiting early pregnancy in-office visits, Gia can help by assuming the role of educator about these genetic tests. Gia walks patients through interactive questions and informational videos so they understand how genetic testing helps inform a healthy pregnancy. In addition, carrier screening can be completed using an at-home saliva kit in advance of a first trimester appointment.
Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA) is a leading medical genetics company, whose mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine to improve healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower prices. For more information, visit the company's website at invitae.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the benefits and capabilities of Gia; and the benefits of genetic testing and information. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the company's history of losses; the company's ability to compete; the company's failure to manage growth effectively; the company's need to scale its infrastructure in advance of demand for its tests and to increase demand for its tests; the company's ability to use rapidly changing genetic data to interpret test results accurately and consistently; security breaches, loss of data and other disruptions; laws and regulations applicable to the company's business; and the other risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Invitae Corporation disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.