Cabo Verde, Africa
The CEO of Medweb since 1992, Peter (Pete) Killcommons draws on decades of experience in the medical field in areas ranging from radiology to disaster response. Throughout his career, Peter Killcommons has traveled to places such as Cabo Verde, Africa, to support the spread of medical advances such as telemedicine.
A former colony of Portugal, Cabo Verde consists of approximately a dozen islands off the west coast of Africa. These islands, originally formed by volcanoes, encompass a diverse range of scenery, including white sand beaches, mountains, deserts, and volcanic landscape. Sunny and warm throughout the year, they also offer an experience of indigenous culture.
With a history ranging from slavery to piracy, Cabo Verde has become a stable democratic republic. A lesser-known vacation site, its islands still retain their original unspoiled glory.
International airports stand on the islands of Boa Vista, Sal, Santiago, and Sao Vicente, but the other islands have regional airports and ferry service, so tourists can easily visit. The capital city of Praia, located on Santiago, also offers car rentals.
New York Medical College
Prior to becoming the CEO of MedWeb in San Francisco, California, Peter Killcommons attended City College of New York where he earned a bachelor of science in medicine. Peter Killcommons also attended New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York where he earned his doctorate in medicine.
Founded in 1860, New York Medical College is made up of three schools, which are housed on one campus. These schools include the following: The School of Health Sciences and Practice, The Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, and The School of Medicine. The medical college is responsible for training students from around the world in delivering compassionate and skilled medical care.
The medical education program for undergraduates at New York Medical College features theoretical knowledge, while also providing practical skills training to offer a more comprehensive learning environment for those who want to practice medicine. First and second year students receive a portion of their training in community-based, primary care settings to get the feel of a real medical environment.
With a degree in medicine from New York Medical College, Peter Killcommons went on to found Medweb, a company that provides telemedicine and teleradiology technology all over the world. Having provided medical help through this technology in Kosovo and Afghanistan, Peter “Pete” Killcommons was invited to be a keynote speaker at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress in Armenia in 2011.
The congress, which was titled “ARMTELEMED: Road to the Future,” was held over two days in October in Yerevan, Armenia. Participants totaled 287 people, almost a fifth of whom were from outside the country. Twenty organizers, 22 sponsors, and 76 students were also in attendance. Fifteen of the 19 invited keynote speakers were international participants representing 20 different nations. Speakers included professor Maurice Mars, president of the South African Telemedicine Association; Dr. Richard Scott of the Office of Global e-Health Research and Training Program from Canada’s University of Calgary; Dr. Mikhail Natenzon, who is president of Russia’s National Telemedicine Agency; and Jonathan Linkous, American Telemedicine Association’s CEO, who of course offered his presentation using a video conference.
The participants provided glowing feedback about the conference, and there was a great sense of excitement about the potential for growth in the e-health and telemedicine field for Armenia in the years to come.
The chief executive officer of Medweb, a San Francisco-based medical-software-and-device company, Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is an avid proponent of telemedicine, especially its use in developing nations to improve access to health care. Recently, Dr. Peter Killcommons traveled to Cape Verde, Africa, to study the results of the nationwide implementation of a telemedicine program.
Loosely defined, telemedicine is the use of information and communication technologies to provide health care services where distance and inaccessibility present considerable challenges. Based on these criteria, health care professionals decided to institute a range of telemedicine initiatives in Cape Verde, a string of islands off the western coast of Africa.
Initial analyses of Cape Verde’s telemedicine services indicated tremendous promise. From November 2011 to December 2013, researchers used a strategic approach known as “initiate-build-operate-transfer” to analyze data collected while Cape Verde adopted and instituted a national telemedicine network and virtual education network. In November 2014, Telemedicine Journal and E-health published the results of this study in an article that declared the launch of these networks “successful” and called the initial results “encouraging.”
A follow-up study, published in the NCBI journal Acta Medica Portuguesa in April 2017, looked at information from 2013 and 2014 to support claims that telemedicine has helped to significantly reduce existing health care inequalities in Cape Verde. However, it cautioned that not all of the success stories associated with telemedicine are supported by authoritative data.
American Telemedicine Association
Founder and CEO of the telemedicine platform Medweb, Peter Killcommons, MD, has offered medical aid in the form of guidance and Medweb services to various international communities. While visiting Jalalabad, Afghanistan, he assisted in installing medical equipment and training doctors. Dr. Peter (Pete) Killcommons is also a member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).
With the mission of improving health care delivery around the globe, the ATA partners with international telehealth groups through its Global Partners program. Partnerships established through the program build a global alliance that can benefit worldwide health care via shared resources and joint projects.
Among its Global Partners projects, the ATA has set up a fund to raise money for international telemedicine charities. Donations are accepted for three charities: the Swinfen Charitable Trust, Icons in Medicine, and Project HOPE. ATA members as well as corporations, foundations, and individuals can donate to the fund. Contributions are either general or can be earmarked for one of the three listed charities.