Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is an established Northern California entrepreneur who provides coordinated telemedicine and teleradiology solutions as head of Medweb. A guiding philosophy of the firm has been to develop innovative technologies that ensure seamless medical care in underserved areas around the globe. Among Dr. Peter Killcommons’ mission-focused trips has been to Cabo Verde, Africa, to expand telemedicine capacities. Another trip to Japan focused on expanding M Health home health care capacities for the elderly.
One unique Medweb project initiated in 2007 centers on providing advanced telemedicine to Tristan da Cunha, which stands as the most remote inhabited island in the world. Situated more than 1,600 miles to the west of South Africa, the island is home to several hundred British citizens. The remoteness of this community makes secure, real time linkages with experienced medical specialists and health care services essential.
Medweb joined with a high-tech team organized by Beacon Equity Partners and IBM in a pro bono effort to deliver $85,000 worth of equipment. This included digital cameras, a digital X-Ray computed radiography system, spirometry, ECG integration, and video conferencing capacities. In addition to remote installation, testing, configuration, and training, sustained support was provided that encompassed help desk and primary technical services. Two years after inception of the project, Medweb assisted in the replacement of an Orex machine after a massive power surge hit Tristan da Cunha.
Northern California entrepreneur Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is an established presence in the teleradiology and telemedicine sphere who guides the industry innovator Medweb. Having provided solutions that enable more responsive, higher quality care worldwide, Dr. Peter Killcommons has participated in a number of philanthropic endeavors.
One example is a partnership with the Rotary International Fund and local Rotary Club chapters in providing rural Kosovo communities with telemedicine options for specialty consultations. Involving the Edwards, Colorado and Gjakova-Cabrati, Kosovo Rotary Club chapters, the 2016 initiative “TeleMedicine for Rural Family Medicine Centers-Gjakova” centered on procuring and installing donated digital medical equipment, as well as connection nodes, at the Main Family Medicine Center of Gjakova.
In total, three laptops and 30 medical devices were contributed, with an aim of seamlessly linking secondary and tertiary care with primary health care capacities. As part of this complex undertaking, Medweb Handheld Telemedicine Kits (HTK) were acquired that package software tools and equipment in one robust, easy-to-use system. In addition, training of Gjakova medical staff was provided by US physicians and Medweb engineering staff.
The CEO of medical software and device firm Medweb, Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons, regularly participates in humanitarian missions to remote and unstable foreign locations. A member of the American Telemedicine Association, Dr. Peter Killcommons is a telemedicine advocate and recently visited Japan to expand mHealth for elder health care.
The online resource of the Japanese Telecounseling Association, mHealth Japan offers e-mail, telephone, and Skype counseling services. Seeking online counseling saves time, effort, and money compared to visiting a counselor’s office. Expanding mHealth use for elder care will help Japan deal with the burden of caring for an aging population. Japan is counting on digital health technology to address this issue.
Digital health spans technologies that address the healthcare system’s requirements of the 21st century. Leading the way in Japan’s digital healthcare transformation are telemedicine and mobile applications. Patients can communicate with doctors, access medical data, and conduct video chats with physicians through a mobile device, saving travel time and patient waiting time in clinics.
Virtual technology is also being applied to health care. A Tokyo-based company has developed a simulation to imitate dementia outcomes, helping healthcare workers better understand the disease. Other countries are learning from Japan’s digital health approach in dealing with their own elderly care challenges.
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.
Peter “Pete” Killcommons graduated cum laude from the accelerated BS/MD program at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York and the New York Medical College. Since 1992, he has served as CEO of MedWeb, a medical software and device company based in San Francisco. Peter Killcommons also contributes to charitable organizations such as the Fisher House Foundation, which provides resources for military members and their families.
One way Fisher House supports military families is through its Hero Miles program, which allows individual passengers to donate their frequent flyer miles to be used by ill or wounded service members. The tickets may also enable the families and friends of service members to visit them during their hospitalization at an authorized medical center. By bringing patients and their families together, Hero Miles promotes the continued healing of the nation’s military heroes.
Since its establishment 30 years ago, the Fisher House Foundation has served more than 500,000 military families. The Hero Miles program in particular has provided over 70,000 tickets to service members and their families, with donations exceeding $105 million.