The Veterinary Virtual Care Association wants to take telemedicine to the next level — and beyond

The Veterinary Virtual Care Association wants to do for veterinary medicine what the 27-year-old American Telemedicine Association has accomplished in human medicine. That is, as the ATA says, “change the way the world thinks about health care.”

The newly established veterinary organization aims to make virtual care — a term encompassing telemedicine, teletriage and everything else that veterinary professionals do or might do remotely — as common as an in-clinic wellness visit.

“In five years, the vast, vast majority of practitioners will utilize telemedicine and broaden virtual care beyond what you do with a smartphone,” said Mark Cushing, JD, a founding member of the Veterinary Virtual Care Association (VVCA). “I think you’re going to see the states, one by one, remove barriers to doing it, realizing it’s safe, effective and proven. That’s what happened in human medicine. I don’t see any reason why the same path won’t be taken in veterinary medicine.”

Regulated by state boards and constrained by rules governing the veterinarian-client-patient relationship, veterinary virtual care has grown by baby steps as the human variety evolved into a giant.

“We expect to work with organizations like the AAVSB (Association of American Veterinary State Boards) and the Veterinary Innovation Council,” Cushing said. “Both have promoted veterinary versions of the human telemedicine rules, which have made it much easier for doctors to engage with clients through digital tools.

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