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Technology Disrupting Veterinary Medicine and Practice Management

By: John Bailey

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technology in veterinary medicine is improving patient and animal experiencing and provides quicker access to care

There have been many technological advancements that are transforming medicine for human life, but technology in veterinary medicine is evolving as well. Practitioners are adopting technologies and methodologies typically used to treat human patients, and are using them to diagnose illnesses and care for animals. Veterinary management is also being impacted as practices incorporate electronic health records and practice management software. The effects range from streamlined care and better outcomes for animal.

Technology in Veterinary Medicine

While technological advancements have benefited the healthcare industry as a whole, there were achievements worth talking about in veterinary medicine. Humans and animals differ in many ways, though they share some physiological features. The various species for which veterinarians care all have circulatory, digestive and skeletal systems. These similarities have led to the crossover from traditional medicine to veterinary medicine.

Advanced Imaging

Radiography has been widespread in veterinary practices, though with CT and MRI software becoming more affordable and less harmful to use, practitioners are incorporating these modalities into their practices. Having access to and utilizing advanced imaging is proving beneficial in veterinary medicine as it is helping to provide better diagnoses and treatments.

Wearable Devices

Activity tracking devices have also crossed over into the veterinary landscape. The first wearables were location-tracking devices to help find lost animals. However, advanced sensors can help owners and doctors dive deeper into animal behavior, shedding light on a range of potential health issues.

Sensor technology can pick up on subtle changes in activity, such as more or fewer trips to the water bowl or litter box, which may indicate a serious underlying issue. These devices capture and store this information which is then analyzed by veterinarians. Wearable technology aids in early detection, helps with remote patient monitoring, and provides more insight into animal behavior.

3D Printing

3D printing in veterinary medicine

3D printing offers several benefits to modern veterinary care. Combined with advanced imaging, a 3D printer produces detailed models of an animal’s bones and internal organs. These models help doctors perform preoperative assessments, acting as a visual guide pre-surgery, and can also be used as a teaching tool.

Every animal is unique, and, like humans, injured animals may need prosthetics custom-designed for their bodies. Veterinary 3D printers use materials such as plastic, metal, and ceramic to generate new parts designed to be a perfect fit. In the future, veterinarians may rely on such printers to manufacture natural tissue to repair damage.

Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures

Laparoscopic surgical procedures involve accessing the internal organs of the abdomen through minor incisions rather than a large opening. The surgeon then uses digital imaging, a small scope and surgical tools to perform a procedure. This technique is less invasive, it mitigates trauma and shortens recovery time, and lessens pain.

Other less invasive techniques include, threading a scope and miniature tools through a blood vessel for cardiac procedures. Since valve repair is a common problem in older dogs, the ability to carry out the procedure without a long recovery will be beneficial.

Big Data

As more veterinarians digitize processes and records, there will be a wealth of data readily available. Pooling and analyzing this data can be pivotal in uncovering health trends. Big data analytics are being used to get ahead of health risks in animals. This information will give greater insight into issues endemic to particular breeds. Veterinarians can use biomarker information as a predictive tool in preventing problems.

With geographical information systems, local veterinary practices can track emerging health trends in their areas. Just as public health officials track infectious diseases in the general population, big data can help veterinarians trace and prevent the spread of illnesses.

Technology’s Impact on Veterinary Practice Management

Technological innovation not only affects diagnosis and treatment, but it also improves the way veterinary practices function. When veterinarians integrate practice management software and tools, it improves every aspect of patient care. Scheduling appointments becomes easier, and the time from treatment to payment shortens.

Accessibility

telehealth apps impact on veterinary practice management

When an animal is sick, the owner wants care as soon as possible. Most pet owners are used to every ailment requiring a trip to the office. However, some practices have incorporated remote patient monitoring, taking virtual appointments and providing virtual consultations. Virtual appointments are more convenient and safe. Resulting in fewer visits to the practice and a reduction in the spread of infectious illnesses such as kennel cough.

Electronic health records (EHR/EMR) is another innovation making an impact as electronic record keeping helps connect various departments and offices, that are otherwise siloed. Records can be accessed anywhere, at any time, streamlining communication and improving care.

Better Collaboration

An animal’s care depends on the joint effort between pet owners and veterinary practitioners. Animals require annual vaccines and treatments to prevent parasites. Veterinary practice platforms automate the scheduling, reminder and appointment confirmation process. With a streamlined scheduling workflow, there are fewer missed appointments and less wasted time.

Client management software enhances the ability to pass on general practice information. The office can easily share the news of a new staff member or changes in hours. These programs allow the office to break clients into animal-specific groups. Dog-related information will go to dog owners, and livestock information will only go to large-animal clients.

Cost-Effective Solutions

Integrating various aspects of your practice, such as scheduling, lab results and diagnoses, billing patient reminders into one place, increases efficiencies, reduces costs, and improves patient care while increasing the profitability of veterinary practices. You can manage this data with cloud-based and practice management solutions.

Custom Solutions for Veterinary Practices

At Chetu, our software developers provide custom solutions for veterinary practice management. Our team builds platforms from the ground up, or integrate third party APIs into your existing solutions. We leverage the latest technologies in veterinary medicine such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine to machine learning, cloud computing, and more. Get in touch today!

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

- See more at: www.chetu.com/blogs

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