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.
First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress
A physician, medical imaging expert, and philanthropist, Dr. Peter Killcommons served as the keynote speaker at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress in Yerevan, Armenia, in October 2011. Held on the campus of Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) State University (RAU), the Congress included 287 participants, more than 50 of whom were international residents. The event was co-hosted by the Armenian Association of Telemedicine and the Union of Information Technology Enterprises, as well as global non-governmental organizations Armenian Telemedicine Association and the Society for Telemedicine and eHealth.
Dr. Pete Killcommons provided the Congress with details about his recent work with Nangahar University Hospital and Nangahar Public Hospital to bring a modern, computerized telemedicine system to eastern Afghanistan. The Congress also featured a variety of scientific sessions, lectures, panel discussions, and roundtable discussions on the subjects of telemedicine technologies, commerce, and education.
The primary goals of the Armenian International Telemedicine Congress are to allow Armenians interested in health information and communication technology (ICT) to communicate with an international audience; to provide a venue for local, regional, and international health ICT professionals to meet each other; and to facilitate opportunities for global ICT professionals to share their work with the general public.
Fisher House Foundation
San Francisco-based doctor and businessman Dr. Peter Killcommons oversees Medweb, specifically its radiology, telemedicine, and disaster response divisions. Apart from his philanthropic efforts through the company, Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons also supports charitable causes including the Fisher House Foundation.
The Fisher House Foundation is a service organization that provides free travel and shelter services to veterans and military personnel. In 1990, it initiated a program called Fisher Houses, a network of comfort homes located near VA medical centers nationwide that provides accommodations to the families of veterans and military while someone in the family is receiving treatment.
Currently, there are 65 Fisher houses located within the vicinity of 24 VA medical centers and 24 military installations. Fisher Houses are spacious facilities, measuring 5,000-16,800 square feet and have anywhere between 8-21 suites that can accommodate up to 42 family members. In 2015 alone, all Fisher Houses across the country catered to 27,000 families. To date, the organization has served over 270,000 families and has offered over six million days of lodging.
Based in San Francisco, Peter “Pete” Killcommons is the inventor of a Web-based radiology viewer and chief executive officer of Medweb. During a recent trip to Japan, Peter Killcommons worked to expand the use of m-health (mobile health) technology for in-home care of the elderly.
M-health refers to the use of mobile devices and wireless technology in health care. It has been used to educate users about preventive health care services in areas without adequate health care but large populations and good cellular coverage. It is also used for disease management and tracking epidemic outbreaks.
Patients can receive or transmit text or voice messages from health care agencies, and health care providers can receive timely data and collaborate with others.
Wearable devices such as Fitbit and smart watches are another trend in m-health. These devices can monitor a patient’s vital signs and thus avoid costly hospital admissions. They also come with apps that, when combined with telehealth services, are useful in preventing health risks.
Though already popular, the adoption of wearable devices is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 35 percent between 2016 and 2021 and reach over $60 billion. The primary drivers behind this increase are aging populations, the focus on reducing health care costs, and the availability of wireless data coverage.
Fisher House Foundation
Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons currently serves as the CEO of MedWeb, a company that specializes in mobile medical technologies that can be deployed in developing countries. Outside of his professional life, Peter Killcommons is a longtime supporter of Fisher House.
Fisher House Foundation recently announced the selection of 14 new sites to place Fisher Houses, including Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Similar to the mission of Ronald McDonald Houses, Fisher Houses provide families crucial support by allowing them to live free of charge while their loved ones are receiving inpatient hospital treatment at VA medical centers.
Truman Memorial spokesman Stephen Gaither said that the hospital sees veterans from 43 surrounding counties, meaning that some families have to travel long distances for their loved ones to receive treatment. Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker said he believes the Columbia Fisher House could begin construction as soon as 2018. Thus far, Fisher House Foundation is responsible for a total of 71 houses built near VA hospital facilities and military bases.