AMA Issues Principles for Protecting Medical Students during COVID-19

An accomplished professional in the healthcare industry, Peter “Pete” Killcommons has served as CEO of Medweb since 1992 and oversees its medical and philanthropic divisions. Throughout his career, Peter Killcommons has also been a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), which has announced guidelines for protecting medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to AMA guidelines, students need to engage in direct care with patients during the pandemic through thoughtful planning and reasonable accommodations. Alongside thorough and ongoing COVID-19 testing protocols, the organization also asks that students receive proper personal protective equipment training and oversight. Furthermore, the guidelines suggest that medical facilities provide additional support for students, as they also face the added uncertainty of their education during the pandemic.

Outside of patient care, the guidelines cover topics related to assessing and training medical students and how these can be adapted in the current climate. The full guidelines are available at https://www.ama-assn.org.

A Brief Overview of Programs and Services Offered by the WCC

A resident of San Francisco, California, Peter Killcommons is an experienced physician and the founder and CEO of medical software and service provision company, Medweb. Peter Killcommons invented web-based radiology viewers and has traveled to multiple countries to expand the use of telemedicine. Pete Killcommons maintains affiliation with numerous professional groups including World Care Center (WCC).

Established following the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, WCC exists to provide crisis prevention and response training to underserved communities. The WCC offers a comprehensive range of educational programs applicable to individuals and families, organizations, and government. For example, numerous courses including General Readiness and Disaster Management 103 are offered through the WCC’s Disaster Volunteerism Academy (DVA) in online and traditional classroom settings.

Aside from educational courses, the WCC also provides hands-on training through the Ready Responders Network Boots on The Ground Exercise (RRN BOG) physical disaster simulation, to prepare individuals and leaders on how to respond. When disaster does occur, the WCC operates an online emergency operations center, the Ready Responders Network (RRN), to ensure individuals, experts, and volunteers can effectively communicate with one another during times of crisis to exchange vital information such as updates and resource requests.

Study Showed Telemedicine Reduced Transfer Rates in Cabo Verde

Peter “Pete” Killcommons serves as the CEO of Medweb, a platform providing diverse health care solutions for health care systems and medical professionals. Among his recent projects, Peter Killcommons traveled to Cabo Verde, Africa, to support the growth of telemedicine.

A 2020 study showed some of the results of the application of telemedicine in Cabo Verde. It analyzed the Cabo Verde Telemedicine program’s (CVTP) telemedicine consultations, transfer data, clinical specialty, and patient demographics between 2014 and 2018. The International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation launched the CVTP in 2012 to furnish telemedicine solutions in Cabo Verde.

Among its key findings, the study identified CVTP’s most popular telemedicine clinical specialties were in the areas of urology, cardiology, neurology, general surgery, otolaryngology, orthopedic surgery, dermatology, and endocrinology. Further, it revealed an overall 34.3 percent transfer rate. As research papers such as “Teledermatology reduces dermatology referrals and improves access to specialists” have noted, this low percentage shows a 65 percent reduction of in-person consultations as the result of implementing telemedicine solutions in the island country.

Three Decades of Solar Energy Growth in the US

An alumnus of City College of New York and New York Medical College, Peter “Pete” Killcommons, MD, is the CEO of Medweb, a medical software and device company based in San Francisco. Outside of running the company’s radiology and telemedicine operations, Dr. Peter Killcommons has a keen interest in solar power adoption in America.

According to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), solar energy consumption in the country grew from 0.06 trillion British thermal units (Btu) in 1984 to 1,044 trillion Btu in 2019. In addition, solar energy generation grew from 5 million kWh in 1984 to 107,057 million kWh in 2019. Of this, 64 percent was utility-scale PV power plants and 33 percent small scale PV systems producing less than 1 MW of power.

The amount of solar energy the earth receives every day is many multiples higher than the amount of energy humans consume each day. However, solar radiation is not available at all times of the day. In addition, clouds, pollution, and dust can lower the amount of solar radiation that reaches the surface of the earth. Generally, arid areas in lower latitudes (in the Northern Hemisphere) tend to receive the highest solar energy per day. In the US, these are southwestern states like California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Other states that receive plenty of sunshine are Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Texas.

Not surprisingly, some of these states lead the country in solar power generation. California had the highest utility scale solar electricity generation in 2019, producing 28.62 billion kWh, followed by North Carolina with 7.292 billion kWh and Arizona with 5.109 billion kWh. With regard to small-scale solar PV electricity generation, California was also the highest producer with 15.181 billion kWh, followed by Arizona at 2.574 billion kWh and New Jersey with 2.202 billion kWh. In addition to a region’s solar power potential, state incentives for solar energy usage also encourage adoption.

ATA Conducting Research on Accelerated Adoption of Telehealth

Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons has decades of experience as a healthcare executive running Medweb, a medical technology and telemedicine company based out of San Francisco, California. An advocate for telehealth, Dr. Peter Killcommons donates telehealth equipment to hospitals across the world and is a member of the American Telehealth Association (ATA).

As an organization completely committed to advancing telehealth, the practice of medicine delivered via electronic and communications technologies, ATA is running initiatives geared toward educating health industry stakeholders on the benefits of telehealth and how it can support value-based care. Two of its current initiatives are research projects on the future of virtual care and the importance of training clinicians on the effective use of telehealth.

The future of virtual care is being driven by changing patient preferences that favor individualistic care models. Virtual visits, virtual consultationss, and remote monitoring are gaining traction while hospital footprints are contracting. As new technologies are developed, more diagnosis and care will occur at home. ATA will conduct research to gather healthcare practitioners’ predictions for the future of virtual care.

With regard to clinician training, ATA believes that organizations that train clinicians on the effective use of telehealth will enjoy the greatest rewards in the coming years. While telehealth has been in existence for over three decades, ATA opines that the shift to a value-based model of care as well as technological advancements will thrust telehealth to the core of healthcare delivery, proving its value over conventional care models. However, trained clinicians will be integral to coordinating care through the new model. ATA will conduct research to ascertain whether organizations that do this will enjoy greater benefits in the future.