The chief executive officer of Medweb, a San Francisco-based medical-software-and-device company, Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is an avid proponent of telemedicine, especially its use in developing nations to improve access to health care. Recently, Dr. Peter Killcommons traveled to Cape Verde, Africa, to study the results of the nationwide implementation of a telemedicine program.
Loosely defined, telemedicine is the use of information and communication technologies to provide health care services where distance and inaccessibility present considerable challenges. Based on these criteria, health care professionals decided to institute a range of telemedicine initiatives in Cape Verde, a string of islands off the western coast of Africa.
Initial analyses of Cape Verde’s telemedicine services indicated tremendous promise. From November 2011 to December 2013, researchers used a strategic approach known as “initiate-build-operate-transfer” to analyze data collected while Cape Verde adopted and instituted a national telemedicine network and virtual education network. In November 2014, Telemedicine Journal and E-health published the results of this study in an article that declared the launch of these networks “successful” and called the initial results “encouraging.”
A follow-up study, published in the NCBI journal Acta Medica Portuguesa in April 2017, looked at information from 2013 and 2014 to support claims that telemedicine has helped to significantly reduce existing health care inequalities in Cape Verde. However, it cautioned that not all of the success stories associated with telemedicine are supported by authoritative data.
First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress
As the CEO of Medweb, a San Francisco-based medical imaging company, Peter Killcommons, M.D., runs the radiology, telemedicine, and disaster response divisions and organizes the company’s philanthropy program. Pete Killcommons presented at the First Armenian International Congress on Telemedicine and eHealth held in Yerevan, Armenia, in 2011. He also donated a Medweb telemedicine system to the Armenian Telemedicine Association to aid in the development of medical services for rural and underdeveloped areas in Armenia.
The First Armenian International Congress on Telemedicine and eHealth brought in 287 people who took part in the event either in person or online. The Congress enjoyed success in several key areas. For the first time, renowned healthcare professionals gave lectures and presentations to individuals involved in Armenian Healthcare ITC. Speakers provided information on the current state of development and future prospects and reflected on the difficulties of building a program.
Armenians working in the field had an opportunity to showcase their experience and receive professional feedback. The Congress provided both domestic and international Healthcare ITC enthusiasts the opportunity to collaborate and develop partnerships, joint programs, and professional cooperation.
Laughs for the Troops
Peter “Pete” Killcommons, CEO of Medweb in San Francisco, California, supports a number of charitable organizations dedicated to those who have served in the American military. Among other charities, Peter Killcommons donates to Laughs for the Troops, a nonprofit group that brings comedy to veterans returning from active combat.
An organization created to help ease the difficult transition between military and civilian life, Laughs for the Troops gives hope through humor to those suffering PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The organization also assists families through fundraising efforts conducted during their comedy events throughout the year.
Laughs for the Troops’ main event each year is the annual Funniest Night in America, a comedy showcase featuring four comedians. Members of the local community are encouraged to purchase tickets and join local servicemen and servicewomen and their families for an evening of comic entertainment. Another popular event is Comedy on the Greens, which allows interested golfers to play the links alongside comedians while raising money through team donations.
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.
For more than 25 years, Peter (Pete) Killcommons has guided business operations as founder and CEO of Medweb, a telemedicine software and device developer in San Francisco, California. To expand the reach of telemedicine, Peter Killcommons has visited more than 50 countries, including Cabo Verde.
Also known as Cape Verde, Cabo Verde is a nation comprised of multiple islands off the coast of Africa. The country features a wide selection of beaches and unique landscapes as well as a variety of cultural sites. Here are a few to consider visiting:
1. Boa Vista. One of the lesser-known islands in Cabo Verde, Boa Vista sits roughly 400 miles off the African coast. Turtles nest there during the summer months, and there is no shortage of sand, which covers the majority of the island.
2. Porto Novo. This city on the island of Santo Antao is home to a large museum dedicated to telling the stories of African royalty. Government and colonial buildings complement the museum by adding to its history.
3. Fogo. Travelers arrive at Fogo when they fly to Cabo Verde. The island is home to Pico de Fogo, a volcano that tourists enjoy climbing. From start to finish, the climb takes about six hours.