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.