VA-sponsored Study Suggests Telemedicine can Help Veterans with PTSD

March 11, 2016
JAMA Psychiatry pic

JAMA Psychiatry
Image: archpsyc.jamanetwork.com

Peter (Pete) Killcommons, MD, CEO of Medweb, has been involved in telemedicine services for nearly 25 years. In addition to his extensive work in rural communities, Dr. Peter (Pete) Killcommons has worked extensively with the Armed Forces to provide high-quality health-care services in remote locations.

According to a landmark study published in JAMA Psychiatry and funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), researchers reported that as approximately 9 percent of the population enrolled in VA health services–more than a half million individuals–were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A range of treatment options exist for PTSD, but with 37 percent of veterans living in rural areas, a significant population faces geographical barriers to receiving specialized treatment at brick-and-mortar facilities.

However, a pilot VA telehealth program implemented in 2014 exhibited promising figures for rural inhabitants. The JAMA Psychiatry study showed a dramatic difference in cognitive processing therapy coverage–approximately 54.9 percent of veterans in the telehealth program received therapy, compared to 12.1 percent in standard care. Additionally, patients in the telehealth program showed larger improvements in post-traumatic diagnostic assessments. Throughout 2014, VA telehealth services served nearly 700,000 veterans, with more than half of them located in rural areas.


First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress

February 5, 2016
First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress pic

First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress
Image: congress.armtelemed.org

Founder and chief executive officer since 1992 of Medweb in San Francisco, Peter Killcommons, M.D., operates the firm’s radiology, telemedicine, and disaster programs. Dr. Pete Killcommons also heads the company’s philanthropy activities. Profiled by the San Francisco Chronicle for introducing medical imaging to the Internet, Dr. Peter Killcommons made a keynote speech at the 2011 First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress in Yerevan, Armenia.

Held from October 14 through 16, the First Armenian International Telemedicne Congress, ARMTELEMED: Road to the Future resulted in a number of achievements. Co-hosted in part by the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University and the American Telemedicine Association, the congress received high marks by those involved for meeting its objectives and serving as an historic event for healthcare technologies in Armenia.

The list of keynote speakers and faculty helped the congress to achieve its success. International speakers included well-known proponents of healthcare information and communication technologies. Germany’s International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) president Michael Nerlich and Switzerland’s ISfTeH executive director Professor S. Yunkap Kwankam represent just two of the remarkable keynote speakers.

In addition to state-of-the-art lectures, there were opportunities for field workers to show their work to international colleagues.


The 2016 American Telemedicine Association Conference and Tradeshow

January 20, 2016
American Telemedicine Association pic

American Telemedicine Association
Image: americantelemed.org

As CEO of medical imaging company Medweb, Peter Killcommons, is deeply involved in telemedicine, which is the electronic exchange of medical information to benefit patients. Peter (Pete) Killcommons belongs to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).

ATA was founded in 1993–a time when telemedicine was becoming more prominent, especially in providing health care to remote areas–to assist in integrating telemedicine into the delivery of health-care services around the world. The general mission of ATA is to promote ethical, efficient, and professional health care through telemedicine and information technology. It seeks to do this by educating medical professionals, providing access to resources, and promoting research, among other actions.

For over 20 years, ATA’s annual conference and tradeshow has been a major event for the organization and for telemedicine in general. It has long been a chance for professionals in the many areas linked to telemedicine to meet, network, learn, and exchange ideas.

In 2016, ATA will host its conference and tradeshow at the Minneapolis Convention Center on May 14-17. Expected are an estimated 6,000 attendees, including professionals from traditional medicine, medical technology, academe, and the government. The conference will include peer-reviewed sessions, keynote presentations, and over 300 companies displaying their products and services.


About the Armenian Association of Telemedicine

January 7, 2016

The founder and chief executive officer of Medweb, Peter Killcommons runs the teleradiology, telemedicine, and medical imaging company from offices in San Francisco, California. As part of his commitment to medicine and healthcare, Pete has helped to install medical equipment and train doctors at several international locations, including Afghanistan. A leader in the telemedicine field, Peter Killcommons was a keynote speaker at the first Armenian Telemedicine Congress, which was sponsored in part by the Armenian Association of Telemedicine (AATM).

Founded in 2008, the Armenian Association of Telemedicine is dedicated to developing and leading the eHealth and telemedicine field throughout Armenia and the world. To achieve its goals, AATM helps coordinate efforts between local stakeholders and international associations, creates and administers educational activities, and assists in the legislative process. Telemedicine holds socioeconomic benefits for countries with limited resources, like Armenia. The technology, which does not require travel to urban areas, is most valuable for people who live in rural and underserved areas, including children, pregnant women, and senior citizens with chronic diseases.

Currently, AATM is sponsoring several ongoing projects to improve the industry. In addition to promoting and creating public awareness of telemedicine, the organization is developing a cloud-based platform for telemedicine and eHealth. Planned features for the scalable platform include a mobile interface for smartphones and tablets, the ability to connect to peripheral devices, and standardized health records for patients that include all related information, whether created by the physician or the patient.


About Telemedicine and the American Telemedicine Association

December 21, 2015
American Telemedicine Association pic

American Telemedicine Association
Image: americantelemed.org

Dr. Peter Killcommons founded Medweb, a medical imaging and telemedicine company, 21 years ago. He serves the company as chief executive officer and directs numerous divisions including telemedicine and disaster response. In October 2011, Dr. Pete Killcommons spoke at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Conference, where he espoused the benefits and difficulties of using telemedicine in Eastern Afghanistan. Dr. Peter Killcommons complements decades of hands-on experience in his field with memberships to professional organizations such as the American Telemedicine Association.

Founded in 1993, the American Telemedicine Association, or ATA, exists to champion the use of advanced telemedicine. Through various initiatives, ATA educates the public and governments on the boons of telemedicine, advocates research in the field, and develops policies. The organization aims to weave telemedicine into healthcare systems and bring about greater affordability and efficacy in the healthcare industry.

One of ATA’s foremost goals is to define telemedicine for those unfamiliar with the discipline. Just like file transfers across the Internet take place between parties spread out hundreds or thousands of miles apart, telemedicine refers to transferring medical information using electronic tools. Those tools include email, video, smartphones, and other forms of wireless resources.


AOPA Advocates for LSA Certification for Multi-use Plane

December 8, 2015
American Owners and Pilots Association pic

American Owners and Pilots Association
Image: aopa.org

Dr. Peter (Pete) Killcommons leverages more than 20 years of experience in the field of telemedicine to serve as the CEO of Medweb, a San Francisco-based firm he founded in 1992. Outside of his responsibilities with Medweb, Dr. Peter Killcommons enjoys flying and maintains membership with the American Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

AOPA recently issued a press release stating that it has urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to deliver stall-speed and weight exemptions so that the Terrafugia Transition can qualify as a light sport aircraft (LSA). The Transition was designed as a street-legal aircraft that can easily shift from flying to driving. Due to its multi-use design, the Transition must meet both highway and aviation regulations, but the safety equipment mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes the Transition exceed the LSA weight limit. Terrafugia has therefore requested an extra 480-pound weight concession, as well as an equivalent increase in stall speed so that the Transition is eligible for LSA certification.

According to the AOPA, releasing the Transition from the FAA’s LSA weight limit will help grow the general aviation market, foster innovation in general aviation, and offer unprecedented safety to the Transition’s users. The AOPA also stated that is has long recommended that the FAA implement performance-based certification criteria.


The OST Program at the World Cares Center

November 9, 2015

CEO of the telemedicine technology distribution company Medweb, Peter Killcommons is in charge of the Radiology, Disaster Response, and Telemedicine divisions. Under the leadership of Peter Killcommons, Medweb develops products capable of working in less than ideal conditions. Moreover, Pete Killcommons supports the World Cares Center, which unites agencies and organizations to promote the emotional and physical healing of the responder community.

Headquartered in New York City, the World Cares Center works to advance collaborative and proactive disaster preparedness, resilient recovery, and response between community members and their emergency managers. The Out-of-School Time (OST) Program, one of the center’s grassroots readiness and response programs, is designed for children from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

The program enriches children’s lives with a combination of academic, cultural, and recreational activities after school, and during the summer and holidays. OST-run activities promote extended learning time and increased emotional and social learning. They also bridge the gap between students’ home and school lives. Participation costs students and their parents nothing, and the program schedules its activities to accommodate working parents.

According to the World Cares Center, students who participate in afterschool programs have a lower likelihood of dropping out of school than those who do not participate. Furthermore, they are almost twice as likely to graduate as non-participants. Participants have also been observed to possess higher educational aspirations than non-participants, and improved school attendance.


Pete Killcommons, MD – Water Scarcity and Why Building Wells Matters

October 28, 2015

Pete Killcommons, MD, has financed a well in a small village in Afghanistan. As a physician and world traveler, Dr. Pete Killcommons has firsthand experience with the consequences of unsanitary water. Unfortunately, limited access to clean water is a worldwide epidemic, with hundreds of millions of people affected.

Not only is contaminated water unsafe to drink, it contributes to the spread of disease. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that dirty drinking water and poor sanitation cause 80 percent of the disease in developing countries.

In remote areas with limited water availability, it typically falls upon the shoulders of women and children to collect and transport enough water for their family’s daily use. The average African woman travels nearly 4 miles per day to collect about 44 pounds of water that she carries on her head. Doing this regularly can cause spine and pelvic problems, miscarriage, and chronic fatigue.

When a village has its own reliable source of clean water, women can spend more time raising their children, educating themselves, and even working at paying jobs. With healthy residents and increased agricultural opportunities, communities on whole benefit from clean water as well. Those who, like Dr. Peter Killcommons, want to help alleviate the problems of unsanitary or scarce water supplies can donate through a variety of charitable venues.


First Armenian International Congress on Telemedicine and eHealth

April 20, 2015

The founder of Medweb, Dr. Peter Killcommons leads as the chief executive officer of the medical imaging, teleradiology, and telemedicine company. Noted for his expertise in the field, Dr. Peter Killcommons was invited to give a keynote presentation at the First Armenian International Congress on Telemedicine and eHealth. Dr. Pete Killcommons spoke about the obstacles and achievements of integrating telemedicine technology in Eastern Afghanistan.

Supported by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia, International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth, and American Telemedicine Association, the First Armenian International Congress on Telemedicine and eHealth took place in Yerevan on October 14, 2011. The conference had an attendance of 287 people, of whom 150 were regular attendees and 76 were students. Additionally, representatives from 20 countries joined the event.

The conference program featured keynote speakers including the Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Sergey Khachatryan and Dr. Adriana Velazquez Berumen from the World Health Organization. Attendees participated in discussions about the future of eHealth and international initiatives, disaster management cycle, and legislative and logistics in telemedicine systems, among other pertinent topics. Following the conference, attendees received a Congress Certificate allowing them to claim 15 European continuing medical education credits from the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.


The American Telemedicine Association’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show

February 23, 2015

Peter Killcommons, an accomplished physician and medical entrepreneur, serves as the chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based medical imaging and telemedicine firm Medweb. Engaged in his field, Pete Killcommons maintains memberships in a number of professional organizations, including the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), a nonprofit group that works to improve health care systems around the world through the increased availability of telemedicine. In striving for this goal, ATA sponsors programs and activities aimed at research, advocacy, and education.

As part of its education initiative, ATA organizes a number of regular conferences, including its Annual Telemedicine Meeting and Trade Show, which attracts thousands of health care professionals and entrepreneurs each year. Now in its third decade, ATA’s Annual Meeting gives attendees the opportunity to network with their peers, enhance their knowledge and skills, and explore cutting-edge telemedicine products, services, and technologies.

ATA’s 20th Annual Meeting and Trade Show will be held May 3-5, 2015, in Los Angeles. The three-day event will feature a comprehensive scientific program comprising more than 500 educational sessions on the latest research and developments in telemedicine. For more information about ATA’s 20th Annual Meeting, visit www.americantelemed.org.