Will Telemedicine Kill Off Medical Office Space?

By Cari Wade Gervin
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

It’s unlikely, according to a new study.

The disruptions and dangers from the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many providers to turn to telemedicine. But despite the increase in remote online appointments, most health care will likely still remain in person, according to a study by real estate management firm JLL.

“COVID has shifted the paradigm, but the idea of telehealth replacing in-person, on-site care is probably overstated,” says Jay Johnson, National Director, JLL Healthcare Markets. “Telehealth will displace some on-site care, but it will also expand access to treatment that might not have otherwise occurred, and much of that will involve a live-care component with a visit to a healthcare facility. The focus should be on adapting real estate to new modes of care delivery.”

The study suggests that providers look into setting up dedicated telehealth care provider suites, possibly repurposing existing space to do so.

“If done well, telehealth can maximize productivity per square foot, potentially changing and reducing, but not eliminating, the need for significant square footage,” the study says.

As the U.S. population continues to grow, along with the percentage of the population that is aging (estimated to be 25% by 2060), the predicted strong future of healthcare real estate should outlast the pandemic.