The Adoption and Impact of Digital Tools in Genetic Counseling

In the fifth installment of the PhenoTips Speaker Series, a panel of genetic counselors, who are digital champions at their respective practices, discuss the impact of digital tools on their departments as well as their experience and insights championing the adoption of digital tools.


As genetic testing becomes increasingly common, genetic counselors face increasing demand that they struggle to meet due to low numbers of genetic professionals in clinical care. Supplementing genetic counseling practice with digital tools is necessary in order to provide essential services while mitigating burnout, but genetic counselors and genetic departments face significant barriers to adoption. To help lessen these barriers, PhenoTips invited genetic counselors Scott Weissman, Amy Taylor and Andrew McCarty to share their experiences becoming digital champions, gathering departmental support, and the clinical impact their departments have experienced since adoption.

Dr. Amy Taylor is the Lead Consultant Genetic Counsellor at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. With over a decade of experience in Genetic Counseling, she heads a team of 14 Genetic Counsellors who provide high quality service to patients in the East Anglia region. Her specialist interests include cancer genetics, cardiac genetics and neurofibromatosis type 2, and for the last six years she has been a member of the UK Cancer Genetics Group Council. Amy’s articles have been published in prestigious journals such as Clinical Genetics and Journal of Medical Genetics.

Andrew McCarty is a Laboratory Genetic Counselor at Perkin Elmer Genomics. He also operates a private practice based out of Pittsburgh called Clover Genetics working to improve access to genetic services. With a passion for providing genetic education to healthcare providers, students, and individuals seeking care, Andrew has authored numerous scholarly articles, including research on the use of the digital tool Proband in pedigree construction and assessment published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Scott Weissman, an NSGC Digital Ambassador, has over 15 years of experience in adult-onset genetic disorders and cancer genetics. He is the founder Chicago Genetic Consultants, LLC and the Cancer Services Lead at tele-genetics provider Genome Medical. Scott has worked with patient advocacy groups (FORCE, Bright Pink, CCARE, Sharshreet) as well as lectured across the country on a variety of topics related to genetic counseling and testing. Scott’s scholarly articles have been published in prestigious journals such as Genetics in Medicine, Cancer, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Genetic Counseling, and many more.

In this panel discussion moderated by DNA Today’s Founder, Producer and Host, Kira Dineen, CGC, Amy Taylor, Scott Weissman, and Andrew McCarty draw on personal experiences to provide insights on:

  • The clinical impact of digital tools in genetic departments through examples from their years of practice
  • Their journey of gathering departmental support for adoption of digital tools
  • The techniques that allow genetic counselors and genetic departments to overcome challenges in digital tool adoption

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