Posts Tagged ‘telemedicine’

Advances in Telemedicine

May 25, 2016
First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress pic

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

As the CEO and founder of Medweb, Medical Imaging, Teleradiology, and Telemedicine located in San Francisco, California, Peter Killcommons, MD, is an expert in telemedicine. In addition to presenting at conferences regarding the methods of utilizing Internet telemedicine technologies to expand the reach of medical care and develop collaborative imaging networks, Dr. Pete Killcommons was the keynote presenter at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress in Yerevan, Armenia, in October 2011. At the event, Dr. Killcommons spoke on implementing telemedicine technology and donated a Medweb web-based telemedicine system to the Armenian Association of Telemedicine.

Telemedicine has made notable advances in recent years. Defined as a form of medical practice that uses telecommunications to treat patients in rural or hard-to-reach areas, telemedicine has become widely-accepted internationally. Additionally, more than 10,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published over the last twenty years in support of the practice.

Advances in networking, telecommunications systems, and cloud- and web-based technology have improved the practice of telemedicine. These advances include new services in the area of two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless connectivity and others. Together, these features help to enhance access, reduce cost of care, and meet consumer demand across the globe.

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.

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.

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.

What is Telemedicine?

September 6, 2013

Peter Killcommons is the founder and CEO of Medweb, a telemedicine solutions provider that develops web-based platforms for remotely viewing, transmitting, and storing medical data of all types. Under Peter Killcommons’ leadership, the company also provides consulting services focused on the use of technology to improve public health, disaster relief, emergency preparedness, and other objectives.

Telemedicine is defined as the use of electronic communications and information technologies to provide health care services from a distance. Web-based patient portals, doctor consultations via video conference, and the transmission of test results are all examples of telemedicine. In addition, thanks to telemedicine, doctors are able to monitor their patients’ vital signs remotely, and patients can download health-related smartphone applications.

Currently, 200 telemedicine networks and 3,500 service sites exist in the United States. As of 2011, upwards of 1 million Americans used remote cardiac monitors and the Veterans Health Administration conducted more than 300,000 remote consultations. Telemedicine provides a cost-effective way to connect patients and medical professionals safely, and can be especially beneficial for patients who live in remote areas.

Dr. Pete Killcommons: The Global Possibilities of Telemedicine

August 15, 2013

In late 2011, Medweb CEO Dr. Pete Killcommons appeared as keynote speaker at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress in Yerevan, Armenia. There, he spoke on the potential benefits of telemedicine to the citizens of Eastern Afghanistan. In addition, he donated a complete Medweb system to the country’s telemedicine association, to be used in care of rural and underserved communities.

Across the world, telemedicine has already proven invaluable in extending medical care to communities far from traditional hospitals. In India, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has set up a network that has connected specialists in 22 hospitals with doctors in 78 remote care centers across the country. These have already had a significant impact, including the facilitation of telesurgeries directed by expert specialist surgeons. The same organization has also set up telemedicine centers in rural villages, which strive to support primary and ophthalmology care.

Tens of thousands of patients have already been served by this and similar systems. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated significant cost savings in the use of telemedicine, which relieves patients and families from the need to travel great distances for care. As the technology becomes more advanced, developments such as telediagnostics and monitoring of care will likely increase the efficacy of telemedicine as a whole.

Dr. Peter Killcommons: Changing the World Through Telemedicine

August 1, 2013

In 2011, Dr. Peter Killcommons gave a keynote lecture at the First Armenian International Congress on Telemedicine and eHealth, held in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan. Dr. Killcommons is the CEO of Medweb, a leading company in the telemedicine industry. Medweb provides technology and logistics that assist medical professionals worldwide to more quickly and easily gather, store, and share critical patient data online. Dr. Peter Killcommons and Medweb have developed and supported telemedical infrastructure for war-torn regions like Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as for humanitarian efforts in other areas, including Haiti, Peru, and Honduras.

The 40-year-old field of telemedicine, promoted by the American Telemedicine Association, encompasses a wide range of services delivered through state-of-the-art telecommunications. Among the telemedical tools professionals often use are videoconferencing; remote diagnostics, including monitoring of vital signs and transmission and archiving of radiologic images; and remote medical education and consumer health information. Radiology has made the greatest use of telemedicine, but many other important specialties are represented, including dermatology, cardiology, and mental health. Telemedicine can help contain health-care costs and deliver lifesaving services that are not otherwise accessible to people in remote areas with limited infrastructure.

“Telemedicine in Afghanistan and Elsewhere,” by Peter Killcommons, MD

February 19, 2013

In October 2011, I had the distinct honor of being the keynote speaker at the First Armenian International Telemedicine Congress in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Through the philanthropic efforts of my company, Medweb, with the assistance of the International Rotary, we donated networked computer technology to the Nangahar University Hospital and the Nangahar Public Hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. I addressed my Armenian colleagues on the challenges of that mission. 

I also consulted with colleagues from Germany, Austria, Russia, Georgia, and Armenia, discussing ways of further collaborating. Almost 300 participants attended the conference, including nearly 100 from the host university. I also visited Armenian villages and made plans to attend the second conference. 

This was not my first humanitarian visit to the area. In 2009, I helped fund a new well for a village near Jalalabad. On that and another trip, I assisted in training doctors in using telemedicine. Earlier I visited Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait in support of our military’s efforts to employ telemedicine. Most recently I helped set up a videoconferencing link between Jalalabad and a hospital in Pakistan.

About the author:
Dr. Peter Killcommons and his company, Medweb, have also made humanitarian donations to Antigua, Peru, Tristan da Cunha, Haiti, and Honduras.

At the Crossroads of Technology and Medicine: An Interview with Dr. Peter Killcommons

October 5, 2011

An expert in the field of telemedicine, radiology, and medical imaging, Dr. Peter Killcommons has spent his career traveling the world, assisting underprivileged communities with essential medical care. Currently, Dr. Killcommons acts as CEO for Medweb, a leading company in telemedicine, teleradiology, and RIS/PACS (radiology information system/picture archiving and communication system) installations.

 

1. How has technology affected the practice of medicine over the past 20 years?

In terms of diagnostics alone, we are miles ahead of where we were in the past. Using sophisticated imaging systems and sensors chips, we can now pinpoint a tumor or a host of other conditions much earlier than ever before. In fact, through our enhanced diagnostic capacity, some conditions don’t even have the chance to become symptomatic before we can get in there and start delivering appropriate treatment. From a hardware perspective, the diagnostic equipment in use today completely eclipses what was in use just a few decades ago. Obviously, these machines only work to supplement doctors and specialists using them, which cannot go unnoticed. Medical education is much more comprehensive than in years past.

 

2. What is a specific technology that has played a significant role in your career?

In my work, imaging is essential, but there has to be a place to store those images. I was able to implement a cloud-based storage system with the Dell DX6000. Using this system in tandem with MAFS (Medweb Archive File System), we are able to access radiological and other medical images from any point in the chain under a scalable, platform-independent architecture. I expect this type of system to become the norm, allowing any number of medical professionals instant access to the information they need to make effective decisions to save patients’ lives and preserve health.

 

3. Do you have any predictions about the future of medical technology?

I imagine an increase in remote medical services. There is such a tremendous demand on physicians’ time in the current system, and it only seems to be getting worse. The time saved via telemedicine should eventually cause a positive chain reaction resulting in more doctors fulfilling their raison d’être, treating patients.