Tech trends that will impact Veterinary Practices in 2017
As the New Year approaches, it’s the perfect time to look ahead to the coming 12 months and make some predictions about how the veterinary industry is likely to evolve.
Digital technology will continue to redefine veterinary systems and procedures throughout the country. Although much of this tech is already being used in some form, 2017 will be the year it truly integrates with both Veterinary Practices and pet owners.
With that in mind, here are the key tech trends that are going to make the biggest impact in the months ahead…
Video has dominated the online entertainment and marketing arenas over the past few years; according to Cisco research, it will make up 80% of global internet traffic by 2019. So, it stands to reason that it will also enter the world of pets, bringing the relationship between veterinarians their clients well and truly into the 21st century. Two examples of this are Fetch – an interactive diagnostic tool – and Vet On Demand, an app that enables virtual visits to the vet.
What with the popularity of microchipping and gadgets such as FitBit and Apple Watch, the merging of wearable technology and pets was almost inevitable. When used with certain apps, pet wearables will allow owners to monitor their pets’ exercise habits, nutritional intake, hydration levels, socialisation and even sleeping patterns. Integrated calendars will set alert reminders for vaccines, flea and worming treatments.
Big data is currently being under-utilised in the veterinary world – particularly by farmers, who sit on a wealth of data about their animals yet are not using it to its full potential. The capacity to discover and share the effects of different hormones, or diseases in sheep according to region, for instance, could revolutionise the care and treatment of these animals. One example of this in action is the BCS Cowdition app, launched by Bayer HealthCare Animal, which allows farmers and veterinarians to monitor body conditioning using photos of their animals, with the app identifying potential signs of disease.
As we’ve touched on, apps can help to leverage big data and enable both owners and veterinary experts to provide animals with even better care. This is particularly true in terms of preventative treatment. Another Bayer Group app likely to become more popular next year is Pet Life – the so-called Personal Pet Assistant App. Using a special reminder service, owners can keep on top of flea and worming treatment, as well as storing information such as yearly boosters, pet passport renewal, date of birth, and even microchip numbers. Individual profiles can be created for each pet, meaning every member of the family is well cared for.
If Veterinary Practices wish to keep in line with their customers’ preferences and expectations in 2017, these digital technologies will have to be embraced sooner rather than later. For help improving the software and technical solutions at your Practice, contact Vet Space today – and get your New Year off to the best possible start!