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.

What You Need to Know about Telemedicine in Africa

Peter Killcommons is a medical doctor who earned his degree from New York Medical College and has dedicated his career to helping others. One of the projects that Peter “Pete” Killcommons was involved in was helping to expand telemedicine in Africa. He spent time in Cabo Verde to get a hands-on approach.

Telemedicine is an increasingly popular form of medical treatment, especially for people in remote areas who do not have physical access to a medical professional. With the use of computers, smartphones, and tablets, doctors and their patients can have virtual appointments and even take certain medical device readings over the internet. With roughly 90 percent of Africans anticipated to have some type of smartphone by 2025, this method of medicine will become increasingly available.

Mental health is an area where Africa has struggled as a whole compared to the rest of the world, as many of its countries are at the bottom of the list of mental health professionals per capita. With the expansion of telemedicine and the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased focus on mental health, this issue may finally start to be addressed.

BasicMed Achieves Success After Four Years

Peter “Pete” Killcommons, MD runs Medweb, a company that provides various health services including radiology, telemedicine, and disaster response. In addition to his role as CEO at Medweb, Peter Killcommons, MD is also a member of the American Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), an organization that advocates and represents the largest aviation community in the world spanning 75 countries.

In an October article posted to the AOPA website, the organization reported that its BasicMed program has been a success. Before the launch of this program, the laws regarding the medical requirements for obtaining and maintaining a pilot’s license were viewed as burdensome. These costly requirements often resulted in pilots having to wait a long time-months and years-to receive answers from the FAA.

In response, the AOPA, a coalition of 250 organizations and general aviation (GA) pilots were able to get signed into law BasicMed, a major achievement seeing as only three to four percent of bills pass. The program was a great achievement for AOPA and private pilots, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Under BasicMed, GA pilots can operate an aircraft up to 60,000 pounds and up to 250 knots with five passengers, among other requirements. However, pilots must also visit a state-licensed physician every four years and enroll in an aeromedical class every two years.

Since its inception, the program has accomplished many things. Among them, AOPA was able to get BasicMed accepted in places such as the Bahamas and Mexico, and the AOPA has been integral in getting other countries to review their age-old, bureaucratic medical requirements for pilots.