Solar Photovoltaic vs. Solar Thermal Systems

With an MD degree from the New York Medical College, Peter “Pete” Killcommons is the CEO of Medweb, a San Francisco, California-based teleradiology and telemedicine service provider. Outside medicine, Peter Killcommons takes an avid interest in solar power for consumers, including solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems.

Solar PV and solar thermal systems both provide sustainable energy solutions by using energy from the sun. The two, however, differ fundamentally in their purpose and mechanism.

A solar PV system turns sunlight into electricity. It typically includes one or more rooftop solar PV panels, an inverter, and other electrical and mechanical hardware, such as a charge controller and utility meter. The PV panels are made from two layers of semiconductors, most often silicon, which create an electric field. The sunlight that strikes this field generates a small voltage, a direct current (DC), which the panels transport to the inverter, which, in turn, converts it into alternating current (AC) used by the electrical grid and most home appliances.

Meanwhile, a solar thermal system turns sunlight into heat. Individual systems may have different configurations, but most share components like rooftop solar thermal collectors, heat-transfer fluid, a hot water tank, a pump station, and a controller. Solar thermal collectors are filled with heat-transfer fluid and come in two main types: flat-plate and evacuated tube. As its name suggests, the first consists of flat, dark plates encased in a thermally-insulated box, while the latter comprises a set of glass tubes.

The heated by the sun heat-transfer liquid warms the hot water tank via a copper coil. The pump moves the liquid around the system, while the controller prevents freezing liquid from cooling the tank in colder weather. Besides heating household hot water, the produced thermal energy can also find application in space heaters like radiant floor heating. In this case, homeowners must install pipes on the floor through which the heat-transfer fluid can flow.


The Ethics of Radiology

Peter Killcommons is an accomplished American physician and businessman. He obtained a bachelor of science degree in medicine from City College of New York and a DMD and an MD from New York Medical College. Peter “Pete” Kilcommons is the founder and CEO of Medweb, a company specializing in radiology, telemedicine, and disaster response divisions in San Francisco.

Radiology is an essential branch of medicine that uses imaging techniques to diagnose and treat diseases. However, the ethical issues in this area must be considered. One of the critical ethical issues in radiology is the balance between diagnostic accuracy and radiation exposure. While imaging is essential for diagnosing many diseases, it can also expose patients to radiation that can have harmful effects, especially with repeated exposure.

Another important ethical issue in radiology is patient autonomy. Patients have the right to make informed decisions about their medical care, including whether to have imaging tests. However, some patients are reluctant to get tested because of concerns about exposure to radiation or other reasons. Radiologists must balance the benefits of testing with patient preferences and ensure they fully understand the potential risks and benefits.

Radiologists must also consider the ethical implications of the information they discover during imaging studies. For example, an imaging test may reveal a critical medical condition the patient was unaware of, such as B. Cancer. Radiologists must provide patients with accurate and comprehensive information about their condition, treatment options, and possible outcomes.

Different Ways Telemedicine Has Impacted Healthcare

Peter “Pete” Killcommons graduated from City College of New York and New York Medical College with multiple medical degrees. Peter Killcommons serves as CEO of Medweb, a provider of medical software and telemedicine in San Francisco, California.

Telemedicine has improved access to healthcare services for people living in remote or rural areas and those with mobility issues. Patients can now access medical care through virtual appointments with their doctors, eliminating the need for long-distance travel and reducing the cost and time associated with in-person consultations. Telemedicine has also enabled healthcare providers to reach more patients, particularly those who cannot visit a healthcare facility due to illness or disability.

Telemedicine has also increased the efficiency of healthcare services by reducing the workload for healthcare providers. Virtual consultations allow doctors to see more patients in a shorter period, as they can conduct consultations from anywhere. Additionally, telemedicine has reduced the number of missed appointments and decreased wait times, leading to increased patient satisfaction.

Patients, particularly those without insurance or with large deductibles, have found telemedicine to be cost-effective. Virtual consultations cost less than in-person appointments, and telemedicine can reduce the cost of transportation and parking associated with in-person visits. Additionally, telemedicine has reduced the need for preventable hospital readmissions, which can be costly for patients and healthcare providers.

DEA Rules to Preserve Pandemic-Era Telemedicine Flexibilities

Guiding Medweb for three decades, Dr. Peter “Pete” Killcommons is a Northern California telemedicine and teleradiology professional who delivers solutions that enable remote treatment of disease. Industry-focused, Dr. Peter Killcommons follows developments in the telemedicine sphere.

In February 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced a proposal to permanently institute, with safeguards, many telemedicine flexibilities that were launched during the pandemic. In particular, the rules would provide patients with access to a variety of virtual therapies, even after the official wind-down of the COVID-19 public health emergency set for May.

For in-person patient exams and telemedicine consultations themselves, there are no substantive changes to existing protocols. However, the rules do include new safeguards aimed at medical providers who follow telemedicine consultations with prescription of a controlled drug without having undertaken an in-person patient evaluation.

In such cases, providers would be allowed to prescribe a month’s supply of non-narcotic controlled drugs listed on Schedule III and Schedule IV (the least associated with drug abuse). The physician is also allowed to prescribe a 30-day buprenorphine supply for treating opioid use disorder with no in-person referral or in-person evaluation. The aim of this is to judiciously expand the accessibility of medications for those struggling with opioid addiction.

About the Web-Based Radiology Viewer and Its Applications

The CEO of Medweb in San Francisco, California, Peter Killcommons oversees the radiology, telemedicine, and disaster response divisions. Peter “Pete” Killcommons invented the web-based radiology viewer, also known as a Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) viewer. This web-based viewer allows doctors to see medical images in DICOM format via the Internet.

DICOM is an internationally accepted standard and protocol for exchanging medical images and other mediums within the healthcare industry. It defines the accepted file formats and workflows for sharing media for processes such as x-rays, MRI, and CT scans. The supported processes and workflows within the protocols include capturing and transmitting, querying and retrieving, printing and storage, and usage for diagnostics.

DICOM technology allows the uploading of radiological images, such as MRI and CT scans, into the cloud for other experts, such as radiologists, to review and give feedback. The technology is available for personal computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets and can handle images, videos, 3D media formats, and accompanying relevant data, such as patients’ names.

DICOM viewers offer instant access and minimal installation requirements as long as users are equipped with a sending or viewing gadget, an internet connection, and a web-based DICOM viewing program. The viewer also provides options for users to navigate and manipulate the media.