The Children’s National Rare Disease Institute (CN-RDI) is excited to announce the launch of their new mobile app, BearGenes, created in conjunction with the CN-RDI Education Committee and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. BearGenes was designed to provide patients and families with a convenient genetics resource available outside of the clinic setting.
The CN-RDI sees over 8,000 outpatient visits per year. At a genetics appointment, a provider may review information on multiple complex concepts. Families may not commit all the details to memory from the visit alone. BearGenes is a user-friendly genetics resource that families can access from any mobile device. The ability to review topics at home at a convenient time allows families with children requiring complex care to better focus on the content, away from the busy and often distracting clinic setting. Additionally, access to BearGenes will provide access to true medical information and decrease misinformation obtained via internet searches. As BearGenes expands, the goal will be to make the app dynamic and responsive to evolving patient needs.
BearGenes houses short, 45-90 second educational videos presented by 3 genetic counselors and a clinical geneticist. Genetics providers at CN-RDI may recommend specific videos as an “educational prescription” for a patient to reinforce the information discussed during an appointment. BearGenes features categories and labels for videos that are color coded shapes and numbers, making it accessible to all reading levels and languages. Currently, the app has navigation and videos in Spanish.
Physicians should introduce families to BearGenes when recommending a genetic consultation. There is a “Before Your Genetics Visit: What to Expect” video and a “Welcome” video to help families better understand what to expect at their genetics appointment and what types of information they should gather beforehand. This empowers families and patients to make informed decisions best suited for them, and feel more knowledgeable in the process.
BearGenes is available in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play Store for Android devices. The content is also available online at www.childrensnational.org/beargenes. Download BearGenes today! One-time Access Pin: 6287