Peter Killcommons and Medweb
About Peter Killcommons
Pete Killcommons, MD, currently presides as CEO and owner of Medweb, a teleradiology, telemedicine, and medical imaging company based in San Francisco, California. Serving in this capacity since he started the company in 1992, Peter Killcommons directs all aspects of the organization, including its telemedicine, radiology, disaster response, and charitable operations. Noted for successfully delivering medical imagining applications to the Internet, Medweb was featured on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle's business section in 1994. In his free time, Pete Killcommons enjoys an array of recreational interests that include sailing, flying, SCUBA diving, and traveling. At the same time, he engages in a variety of philanthropic initiatives. In addition to his extensive volunteer work, Peter Killcommons supports such organization as The American National Red Cross, the Fisher House Foundation, the World Cares Center, Catholic Charities, and Rotary International.
Pete Killcommons holds an MD and a BA from the New York Medical College, from which he graduated cum laude from the school's accelerated BS-MD program. Prior to this, he attended the City College of New York, where he served as the Vice President of Student Affairs in the student government and participated in the varsity swim team. Today, he maintains affiliations with an array of professional organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Telemedicine Association, as well as Experimental Aircraft Association, the American Owners and Pilots Association, the Alameda Flying Club City, and the South Beach Yacht Club. At the same time, Peter Killcommons belongs to the UCSF Alumni Association, the Chaminade Alumni Association, and the New York Medical College Alumni.
Dr. Peter Killcommons Helps to Expand Telemedicine Services
A member of the American Medical Association and the American Telemedicine Association, Dr. Peter Killcommons is an expert in telemedicine and teleradiology. He is also a philanthropist who has donated his time and resources to a variety of charities. Of his philanthropic pursuits, Dr. Killcommons is especially dedicated to helping groups that work to provide healthcare to rural, poor, and under-served areas. Telemedicine is one way that charities and healthcare organizations are doing just that.
Telemedicine is the use of an electronic communications medium to send information from one location to another with the end goal of improving a patient’s health. Telemedicine includes videoconferencing, remote monitoring, medical education, and other services.
Dr. Killcommons spoke at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress as a keynote presenter. He covered topics including the success and challenges faced in setting up telemedicine infrastructure in eastern Afghanistan, a project conducted in collaboration with the Nangahar Public Hospital and the Nangahar University Hospital in Jalabad.
While in Armenia, he donated a Medweb telemedicine system to help develop medical services in the regions of the country that needed them the most. He also met with colleagues in Armenia and from neighboring countries to discuss how to move forward with various collaborative telemedicine projects.
Peter Killcommons on Telemedicine
Telemedicine refers to a specific application of clinical medicine in which telecommunication is used to transfer medical information. This is usually done via telephone or the Internet. Two doctors discussing a client's case on the telephone would be an example of telemedicine. A more modern example might be those same two doctors discussing the client's case over an online portal where they can instantly share charts, notes, and x-ray scans.
Telemedicine can also be used to relay information between healthcare providers and patients. For example, a patient who is referred to a specialist who lives over a hundred miles away could use video-conferencing software to consult with the specialist and save travel time. A patient could also log in to a doctor's online interface to check on the results of a recent lab.
These days, many hospital physicians are using telemedicine to treat their patients. A patient placed under observation at the hospital might prefer to recover at home with his or her family. The doctor can still monitor the patient's condition using vital sign capture equipment, and provide consultations to the patient by phone or by video conference. In addition to increasing the patient's comfort, this also frees up the hospital room for a patient who needs it.
About the Author: Peter Killcommons is a philanthropist with a medical degree from New York Medical College. For several years, he ran his own medical imaging, teleradiology, and telemedicine business in San Francisco, California.
About the Fisher House Foundation
Prior to initiating his career, Medweb CEO Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons graduated summa cum laude with a BS-MD from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York. In conjunction with his professional responsibilities, Dr. Peter Killcommons participates in various forms of medical philanthropy, including engaging with the Fisher House Foundation.
The Fisher House Foundation is a charitable organization that focuses on providing no-cost lodging for family members of military service members and veterans near the VA hospital where their loved ones are receiving treatment. Additionally, through a program called Hero Miles, the organization covers round-trip airfare for family members to the cities where VA hospitals are located. To date, this program has sponsored more than $88 million in flights.
There are many ways that individuals can support Fisher House, including donating funds, old cars, frequent flyer miles, and hotel reward points. To learn about other volunteer and fund-raising opportunities, contact your local Fisher House representative through the organization’s website at www.fisherhouse.org.
Speakers at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress
On October 14-16, 2011, the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress was held in Yerevan, Armenia, where Peter Killcommons was featured as a keynote speaker. Pete Killcommons, chief executive officer of Medweb, is a leader in delivering web-enabled secure telemedicine solutions.
Killcommons’ keynote lecture was titled “Building Collaborative Telemedicine Networks in Afghanistan—Cell Phones, Internet Consults, and Online Medical Training." He discussed the successes and challenges of bringing telemedicine computer technology to eastern Afghanistan. Working in collaboration with the Nangarhar University Hospital and Nangarhar Public Hospital, Killcommons connected these Jalalabad hospitals to medical imaging servers and telemedicine devices to volunteer doctors in the United States.
The First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress had 287 total participants with 20 countries represented. The 18 other keynote speakers traveled from countries including Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, Canada, Russia, France, and the United States. A sample of other topics presented at the Congress include “Complex Telemedicine Systems in Russia and Worldwide” by Mikhail Yakovlevich Natenzon, “The History of Telemedicine” by Rashid Bashshur, PhD, and “Integrating Telemedicine in a Practice of Care” by Jon Linkous.
ATA Individual Membership Benefits
The founder and chief executive of Medweb, a company that provides telemedicine services such as live stream consulting and teleradiology, Peter “Pete” Killcommons, MD, is an authority in this growing field. Dr. Peter Killcommons is a member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).
Membership in the ATA is divided into four categories: individual, student, institutional, and startup/corporate. Individual membership costs $235 a year and carries plenty of benefits.
Networking: Individual members can network with over 9,000 telemedicine professionals forming the largest membership association for those in this growing field. ATA members are drawn from a diverse spectrum that includes physicians, researchers, engineers, administrators, government officials, and entrepreneurs.
Group participation: ATA has several Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and regional chapters which deal with specific issues shaping the future of telemedicine. Members can join any group at no extra cost.
Access to ATA events: ATA has a busy calendar of events. Many of these are educational and free to members. Significant discounts are available to members attending the ATA’s annual conference.
Capitol Hill representation: ATA works with its members to shape federal and state policy on telemedicine and on issues such as credentialing, device regulation, cross-state licensure, and patent reform.
The Balkan Telemedicine Seminar
Dr. Peter Killcommons is the CEO of Medweb, a medical-imaging, teleradiology, and telemedicine company based in San Francisco, California, and an international philanthropist who travels the world to advise telemedicine initiatives in developing countries. In November of 2010, Dr. Peter Killcommons journeyed to Podgorica, Montenegro, to lecture at the Fourth Intensive Balkan Telemedicine and e-Health Seminar.
Sponsored by the International Virtual e-Hospital, the Intensive Balkan Telemedicine and e-Health Seminar was designed to build a framework to support telemedicine and e-health technology systems in the Republic of Montenegro. If this framework proves to be successful in Montenegro, seminar organizers hope to spread these technology systems to other countries in the region that wan t to provide virtual educational and long-distance health care services to widely dispersed communities.
In previous years, Balkan Telemedicine Seminars have taken place in Pristina, Kosovo; Tirana, Albania; and Skopje, Macedonia. These events have served to broaden shared understanding of the enormous potential of telemedicine to transform the health care capabilities of each respective country.
An Explanation of Internet-Based Telemedicine
Our interview today is with Peter Killcommons, a noted expert in telemedicine best practices.
Q: What is telemedicine?
A: It’s simply the use of telecommunications devices to offer quality health care to individuals who are not present at the physician’s location. It removes the distance barrier and can be very useful in emergencies where there simply is not sufficient time for the individual to reach a trauma center. Advances in services such as video chat and high-speed internet are allowing telemedicine to run much more efficiently and inexpensively.
Q: What are the practical applications?
A: Telemedicine via the internet can be profoundly useful in rural areas, where individuals have internet access but are not located near qualified physicians. For those patients who need to see a specialist, in particular, it can provide a physician the chance to save valuable time and offer expert diagnoses. Telemedicine is not all about video-based consults; in situations in which a patient is consistently monitoring a certain condition such as blood pressure, telemedicine allows the patient to monitor his or her condition and send results electronically. The results are then monitored by the healthcare provider.
About the author:
Peter Killcommons is an expert in telemedicine and in 2010 spoke at a conference in Podgorica, Montenegro, about strategies for using technology to improve healthcare in rural villages.
What is Teleradiology?
A telemedicine expert with nearly 20 years of experience, Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is the founder and CEO of Medweb, a telemedicine firm. Dr. Peter Killcommons represents the firm at speaking engagements and manages initiatives in areas including telemedicine, imaging, and teleradiology.
A component of telemedicine, teleradiology allows radiologists to provide care to patients anywhere in the world through the use of technology. Radiology itself is a medical specialty that uses images to diagnose patients. Via modern technology, such as local networks, the Internet, and cloud computing, teleradiology allows the transmission of traditional radiological images such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Perhaps the greatest benefit of teleradiology is its ability to allow access to care in rural areas or developing countries that may lack nearby radiological staff. Additionally, teleradiology allows physician collaboration and second opinions to occur quickly and easily. The practice is becoming widely used around the world.
Telemedicine Conference Provided Platform for Information Sharing
Peter (Pete) Killcommons, MD, founded and leads as chief executive officer of Medweb, a San Francisco-based company that focuses on providing medical imaging and telemedicine solutions to clients worldwide. In October of 2011, Dr. Peter Killcommons served as one of 19 invited keynote speakers/faculty members at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress in Yerevan, Armenia.
Held at Russian-Armenian State University with support from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia and several nongovernmental organizations, this event drew hundreds of participants from 20 different countries. Along with speeches by the keynote speakers, it featured 33 presentations and six exposition booths.
The primary goals of the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress were to allow Armenian health information and communication technology (ICT) enthusiasts to share their work with an international audience; to facilitate networking between local, regional, and international health ICT professionals; and to encourage global telehealth professionals to pass on their expertise to conference attendees. For a full summary of the event’s proceedings, visit Congress.ArmTelemed.org.
Case Study Reveals Telemedicine Answer to Seniors Missing Medication
Peter Killcommons is the owner and founder of San Francisco, California-based Medweb, Medical Imaging, Teleradiology, and Telemedicine. A member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), Peter Killcommons runs the company’s radiology and telemedicine divisions.
Telemedicine involves the exchange of medical information through electronic communication to improve the clinical health status of patients. Established four decades ago to extend health care to patients in remote areas, modern telemedicine has grown to encompass the use of applications and services linked to email, smartphones, and wireless equipment, to improve the operations of hospitals and other healthcare providers.
According to the ATA, in a case study on the usefulness of telemedicine, researchers set out to reduce medication non-adherence among seniors through automated dispensers with voice-activated messaging. It is estimated that one in 10 seniors is admitted to the hospital for causes related to medication non-adherence.
Exposed to complex medical conditions, more than half of seniors use at least three medications while an estimated one third of them take eight or more. Difficulty managing or remembering to take these medications causes non-adherence, which leads to hospital re-admissions.
In the case study, research results showed that senior groups using self-management pill boxes missed 30% of doses on average per month while groups using an automated dispenser with voice-messaging averaged less than 3% missed doses a month. The automated dispenser group also recorded a decline in hospitalizations and physician visits.
Aviation Safety Programs of EAA
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is the founder and CEO of Medweb, a leading company in the field of web-enabled medical solutions. Pete Killcommons, MD, also serves as a volunteer disaster-response pilot and is a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
The nonprofit EAA was founded in 1953 by a group of individuals who aspired to construct their own airplanes. Today, the Wisconsin-based organization’s over 180,000 members come from nearly all spheres of recreational aviation. EAA hosts the famed AirVenture Oshkosh every July, which draws a crowd of over half-a-million and involves around 10,000 airplanes of various designs, ages, and sizes.
EAA has scores of initiatives including its Flight Advisors and Technical Counselors safety programs, which the Federal Aviation Administration has directly acknowledged for improving aviation safety, notably in aircraft that are homebuilt. Flight Advisors is composed of certified flight instructors and other seasoned aviators who assist EAA members suit their flying skills to the aircraft they want to fly or build, while Technical Counselors is made up of highly qualified volunteers who provide counsel and guidance to those in the process of restoring or building their own aircraft.
Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons graduated from New York Medical College and has gone on to a career in medical philanthropy and telemedicine. The inventor of web-based radiology viewers, Dr. Peter Killcommons founded Mebweb, Inc., more than two decades ago and continues to lead as CEO of the company, which maintains standing as one of the leading web-based telemedicine providers in the world.
Below are some questions and answers to help readers better understand telemedicine.
Q: What is telemedicine?
A: Telemedicine refers to a patient connecting with a doctor through real-time two-way communication that includes audio and visual transmissions. In telemedicine settings, medical professionals perform health assessments or consultations that allow them to check, diagnose, and treat their patients without meeting them in person.
Q: What is the difference between telemedicine and telehealth?
A: Telehealth is a broader term that encompasses the remote delivery of both clinical and nonclinical healthcare services. Examples of nonclinical services include healthcare education and administration. Telemedicine, on the other hand, specifically involves the delivery of clinical services to a patient by a medical professional. Despite this distinction, the terms are often thought of as one and the same.
Rotary International Sponsors Peace Centers
Peter Killcommons serves as the CEO of Medweb, an organization that provides the technology for connecting medical staff and diagnostic testing to people in remote areas. Outside of his work at Medweb, Peter "Pete" Killcommons works at hospitals throughout Afghanistan through nonprofit organization Rotary International.
Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary International now consists of 1.2 million members on six continents. The organization works for human development through such programs as Rotary Peace Centers, which have graduated over 900 peace fellows.
Each year, Rotary chooses some 100 peace fellows, for whom it funds master’s degree fellowships in peace, conflict prevention, and conflict resolution at premier universities around the world. Fellowships last between 15 and 24 months and include a summer internship. Graduates from the Peace Centers go on to work for national governments, nongovernmental organizations, law enforcement agencies, and other entities.
For those with experience in a peace-oriented field who are looking to strengthen their professional skills, Rotary also offers a three-month certificate program to as many as 50 people per year at Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University. To learn how to apply for the master’s degree or certificate programs, please visit rotary.org.
New Program Offerings at the 2016 ATA Conference
The founder of the international medical imaging, teleradiology, and telemedicine corporation MedWeb, Dr. Peter Killcommons is a medical professional with more than three decades of experience. In addition to managing MedWeb, Dr. Peter (Pete) Killcommons is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).
The ATA seeks to enhance the quality and affordability of healthcare around the world by making telemedicine available everywhere. Each year, the ATA hosts an annual conference and trade show, the largest of its kind. The most recent conference took place in May in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
ATA 2016 provided some 6,000 attendees a range of educational staples and brand new offerings. These new programs included twice as many speakers and leaders than at the previous conference, and more educational sessions on topics such as acute care, mental health, pediatrics, and clinical services.
The most recent conference encouraged the participation of newcomers and young professionals with receptions geared toward their unique interests. This group also had the opportunity to attend a “lunch with the mentors,” which allowed for conversation and networking with some of the most notable experts in telemedicine.
Finally, to add a bit of fun to the proceedings, ATA 2016 offered prizes to attendees who visited the exhibit booths on site. Among the many prizes were free registration for next year’s conference, which will take place in Orlando, Florida, in April.
The founder and CEO of telemedicine firm MedWeb, Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is also a volunteer disaster response pilot. Peter Killcommons, MD, is a member of the American Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), an organization comprised of hundred of thousands of members from 75 countries that represents the interests of the general aviation community
One of the concerns the association has worked to address is reform on third-class medical, or medical certificates for student, recreational, and private pilots. The outcome of this effort entails new regulations, which the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) refers to as BasicMed.
Taking effect on May 1, 2017, the new rules allow pilots to fly airplanes not over 6,000 pounds and in accordance with other restrictions, with medical clearance more readily obtainable. The revised requirements include having held a valid FAA medical certificate and a special issuance medical within the last 10 years. A special issuance medical certifies that a person is medically able to fly despite having certain medical ailments.
Pilots who do not meet the requirements must visit an aviation medical examiner to request special dispensation in order to qualify. In lieu of other more burdensome and time-consuming requirements, the pilot thereafter only needs to see a state-licensed physician once every four years. The examining physician must follow FAA examination guidelines.
The pilot must also take a free online medical education course every two years through the AOPA website. For more information, visit www.aopa.org/advocacy/pilots/medical/fit-to-fly-pilots.
Telemedicine Addresses the Challenges of Elderly Patient Care
In his role as the founding CEO of the telemedicine company Medweb, Dr. Peter Killcommons oversees the company’s disaster response and philanthropy programs. Committed to providing health care access to patients around the world, Dr. Peter "Pete" Killcommons recently traveled to Japan to facilitate telemedicine home health care services for the elderly.
The population of elderly people is quickly growing around the globe. Telemedicine, the remote diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of patients using telecommunications technology, is an effective tool for addressing the increased amount of medical care elderly patients require, including the remote monitoring of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, which curtails the need for routine in-person appointments. Telemedicine also provides elderly patients ready access to the specialists associated with the care of chronic conditions, which would otherwise necessitate travel.
Improved communication between providers, patients, and their caregivers and ongoing monitoring has been shown to reduce emergency room visits. This aspect of telemedicine reduces not only costs but the stress associated with caring for seniors.