Challenges surrounding the use of telehealth for patients with Alzheimer disease are affected by technological barriers, according to the associate director of the Montefiore Hudson Valley Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease
“There are definitely tweaks and challenges, and that can be built into the visit and workflows can be adjusted so that support staff can help. But I really think it's such an added value that the burden of adapting the technology is just a minor point of it.”
The use of telehealth over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic is something that Jessica Zwerling, MD, MS, believes will persist, particularly for patients with Alzheimer disease; however, some barriers do continue to generate difficulties for both patients and providers. A primary hinderance is the actual use of technology, which can be difficult for those in the AD population, who are often elderly and may not be as adept at navigating the virtual sphere.
In conversation with NeurologyLive, Zwerling, the director of the Montefiore Hudson Valley Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease and associate professor of neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, commented on the navigation of these issues during the pandemic, as well as how experts continue to navigate them presently. Setting up proper camera angles within the home is of particular importance, ensuring that providers and social workers can evaluate the individual as a whole; often, additional insight can be drawn by observing patients in their living spaces. While transitional challenges remain, Zwerling further alluded to the fact that improved workflow during visits can be of assistance and adjusted so as to allow support staff to help.