Sheri Easton-Garrett of Brookdale Senior Living is bearish about telehealth. “The possibilities of telehealth in an assisted living environment are incredibly exciting,” she says. From a resident standpoint, “residents and families could be more confident in knowing immediate access to a board-certified physician or nurse practitioner is available.”

Regular testing, like blood pressures, temperatures, or other indicators, can be performed and transmitted from the community without need for an office visit.

“For community leadership, having that level of access provides peace of mind,” Easton-Garrett says. On the health care provider side, an earlier diagnosis and quicker treatment can improve outcomes and decrease the cost of care, she says.

“A telemedicine evaluation can save everyone—residents, families, and providers—time when choosing to determine appropriate next steps for a potential diagnosis. I don’t see telehealth as taking the place of all office visits, but certainly in many cases this type of assessment would benefit an assisted living resident.”