American Telemedicine Association
Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is the CEO of Medweb, a medical software and device company based in San Francisco, California. At Medweb he directs the company’s radiology, telemedicine, and disaster response divisions, as well as Medweb’s philanthropy program. Telemedicine is a key division of the company, and Dr. Peter Killcommons has recently been traveling to numerous areas such as Cabo Verde, Africa, to help expand its use in developing countries. He also engages with the American Telemedicine Association in his free time.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is a professional organization dedicated to improving healthcare around the world through telehealth. Telemedicine/telehealth is a burgeoning field that integrates the medical field with the digital age through technology such as remote monitoring devices, consumer-focused wireless applications, and image transmission services.
The ATA’s mission focuses on increasing awareness of the field as well as improving the quality and affordability of medical care around the world. To help accomplish this, the organization’s Learning Center provides its members, as well as the general public, with educational seminars and events so that interested parties can stay aware of the ongoing improvements and developments in telemedicine. In addition, the Learning Center also records and makes available all of its public conferences and the aforementioned seminars (some free of charge and others for a fee) for easy perusal.
First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress
The founder and CEO of MedWeb, Peter Killcommons, MD, was a featured speaker at the First Armenian International Congress on Telemedicine and eHealth in Yerevan, Armenia. Held in October, 2011, Dr. Killcommons was one of 15 experts from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States invited to speak. An intercontinental audience of government representatives, investment, research, and healthcare executives, and university students attended the three-day program.
Dr. Killcommons spoke on his recent experience implementing telemedicine technology in collaboration with two hospitals in Afghanistan. A product of information technology, telemedicine is used, among its many applications, to transmit medical data, imaging, and health information, improving the access of medical services in remote regions around the world. A long-recognized philanthropist, as well as a pioneer in telemedicine and teleradiology, Dr. Killcommons made a donation to the Armenian Telemedicine Association of a MedWeb system, furthering the reach of medical services in the country’s less privileged areas.
First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress
As the CEO and founder of Medweb, Medical Imaging, Teleradiology, and Telemedicine located in San Francisco, California, Peter Killcommons, MD, is an expert in telemedicine. In addition to presenting at conferences regarding the methods of utilizing Internet telemedicine technologies to expand the reach of medical care and develop collaborative imaging networks, Dr. Pete Killcommons was the keynote presenter at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress in Yerevan, Armenia, in October 2011. At the event, Dr. Killcommons spoke on implementing telemedicine technology and donated a Medweb web-based telemedicine system to the Armenian Association of Telemedicine.
Telemedicine has made notable advances in recent years. Defined as a form of medical practice that uses telecommunications to treat patients in rural or hard-to-reach areas, telemedicine has become widely-accepted internationally. Additionally, more than 10,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published over the last twenty years in support of the practice.
Advances in networking, telecommunications systems, and cloud- and web-based technology have improved the practice of telemedicine. These advances include new services in the area of two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless connectivity and others. Together, these features help to enhance access, reduce cost of care, and meet consumer demand across the globe.
Afghanistan is an area that stands to greatly benefit from modern medical technology, and with his company MedWeb, Dr. Peter (Pete) Killcommons offers a solution through telecommunications. With MedWeb, Peter Killcommons has travelled to the country at least a dozen times since 2008 to help set up opportunities for remote diagnosis, web conferencing, and other solutions for medical and educational aid.
As Afghan telecommunications companies increase their reach, information is more easily transmitted directly from the patient to doctors who might be anywhere in the world. With tools like web conferencing, medical cameras, and teleradiology, diagnosis and education have become much more accessible in remote areas. This advance is especially helpful for the women and children in Afghanistan who may not be able to travel easily without a male escort, so even individuals in remote rural communities can gain useful medical knowledge from home.
Since 2008, MedWeb has donated a portable ultrasound machine and laptop to the Afshar Women and Children’s Hospital, connected a webserver for telemedicine and teleradiology at Acomet Hospital, and donated video conferencing equipment to Nangarhar University Teaching Hospital. In 2011, MedWeb organized a video conference for OBGYN doctors at Nangarhar with the Holy Family Teaching Hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. This conference was the first of its kind and created a collaborative relationship among medical professionals across those borders that are maintained to this day.