The Veterinary Innovation Summit showed that pet health care is moving from reactive and acute to proactive and preventive. You can thank telehealth, wearables and other technology-driven ideas.
People who use telehealth services are more likely to visit the clinic and spend more when they get there.
When a person blinks or a dog scratches his ear and the event isn’t recorded, it’s a moment in time likely to pass unnoticed and unaccounted for, one in an endless series of moments that have no beginning and no end. But what happens when that moment is recorded and someone is paying attention? When a medical professional says, “Hey, you blink more than normal” or “That’s more ear scratching than normal,” we pay attention.
Medical professionals help turn unstructured, isolated moments into something meaningful, something that requires a response. Otitis externa, for example, can be treated. Random ear scratching cannot.
As former IBM executive Jon Iwata shared at the Veterinary Innovation Summit in April, we are awash in unstructured data. Everything from text, images, multimedia, and sensors and devices provide data in new, interesting ways, but the data has little structure. There is no meaning. These isolated moments pass through our virtual space, only to disappear into the digital ether. That is changing.
The evolution of veterinary medicine is delivering not only new devices and wearables that record and preserve data, but also groups of people, like the team at the Pet Insight Project, who structure the information into actionable recommendations. Early onset of osteoarthritis or post-surgical complications in pets can be responded to at greater speed because of the ability to track patient activity levels.
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