AI in veterinary medicine
06 August 2020

How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Veterinary Industry


In this post, you’ll learn the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in altering the Veterinary industry. Learn how AI is the leading cause behind the evolution of animal care through this detailed article.

We can all agree on this fact:

Artificial Intelligence has shifted from being a fictional idea to becoming an integral part of our lives.

However, like everything else, even AI must have its boundaries, right? One may think that in a field like Veterinary Science, there is no path to the effective inclusion of artificial intelligence.

Well, you’re mistaken.

It turns out that AI tools are the driving force behind the evolution of the Veterinary industry. Not only are they making animal healthcare better, but making veterinary practices easier as well.

In this article, I’m going to talk about how, through AI pet care, the veterinary industry has been revolutionized.

I’ll also shed light on some ground-breaking AI-innovations that are making the Veterinary Industry as organized as human health care.

AI and its presence in the world of Medical Science

To begin with, let me answer an important question: What does AI stand for in medical terms?

Artificial Intelligence is a form of computational science that involves the creation of machines that can replicate human thinking.

Over the past decade, AI has become an indispensable part of medical science.

One of the key collaborations between artificial intelligence and medicine has been in the field of diagnostics.

Where diagnosing an illness would take days, AI-programs can now diagnose diseases automatically through data analysis. As a result, diagnostics are much cheaper, faster, and easier.

It is also being used in the form of clinical decision-making programs that recognize patterns of medical complications, and as information collection systems that hold extensive medical information of all past and present patients of a hosp

ital. But that’s not all.

The information thus collected is also analysed by AI’s to help create personalized medication.

AI-centric programs are also players in the field of drug discovery, as it is able to card through data that is too complex for humans.

In similar ways, AI is also shaping itself to becoming an indelible part of the field of veterinary science.

Presence of AI in Animal Health Care

I know what you're thinking.

As pet owners, what can artificial intelligence do for us and our pets? The answer is - a lot.

We all know that advancements in human healthcare are constantly underway. But what we may not know is that animal health care is advancing at an equally fast pace.

In the last few years, AI has brought great reforms to the veterinary industry by making:

  • Veterinary diagnostics easier
  • Medical care accessible
  • Data collection convenient

Think I'm exaggerating? Then take a look at the story of Vet-AI.

Vet-AI is an animal care company based in Leeds. Recently, it partnered with Animals Friends, a pet insurer, to develop an app called Joii.

Pet owners can use this app to verify any symptoms of illness that their pets are displaying. They can also receive consultations from highly-qualified professionals through paid video calls.

The process of diagnosis through this app has been made as accurate and convenient as possible.

Diagnosis is done by the AI only after a proper examination of media evidence.

For example: If your pet has a wound on the paw, you'll have to upload a photo of that on the app. A video of the animal walking is also required for it will help the AI take into factor any other ailments that the animal may have, which isn't visible through an image. Then, within seconds the AI will give you a result.

Needless to say, it will do so only after analysing the results of a misdiagnosis.

Through this AI animals will receive a diagnosis only if the system is sure that anomalies will not lead to a catastrophe.

Astonishing, isn't it?

But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Vetology is another company that is bringing AI to the field of veterinary science in a big way.

Vetology has created a hybrid AI that combines the speed and accuracy of Artificial intelligence along with the expertise of veterinary doctors.

Through this form of artificial intelligence pet’s radiology reports can be obtained within minutes. Something which would otherwise take days.

In a recent interview with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Eric Goldman who is the founder of Vetology talked about how obtaining a radiology report is an extremely slow process. The delay poses a serious risk to the health of our furry friends.

That is why he created this hybrid AI system.

Thus, through vet innovations like these, providing healthcare to pets and animals has become much easier. It also shows that the future of veterinary medicine will only get brighter.

Improvement of Veterinary Practices through AI

Look: While AI has improved the medical service for animals greatly, it has done the same for the professionals in practice I.e. the vets.

Yes, that's right.

The application of Artificial Intelligence has made medical practices much easier for veterinarians.

Many services that weren't present in the field of animal medicine before, have now been made available with the help of AI.

Let us take the example of veterinary notes.

Did you know that unlike the human health record system, there is no common database for veterinarian notes? Shocking isn't it?

For a long time, vets have had to hand-type or write veterinarian notes instead of using a common software infrastructure.

That is why Dr. James Zou created DeepTag. It is a unique computer algorithm that essentially studies the medical notes vets have typed-out and suggests diseases that the animal in question could be afflicted with.

Bottom line: It compresses all the information it has received and studied into a list of diseases or symptoms.

Dr. Zou said in an interview with Stanford medicine journal that AI has evolved greatly over the years. Its ability to understand and emulate human language can be put to great use, in all fields.

Now hang on, because that's not all.

In a similar fashion, a group of veterinarians at the Davis School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California have created a unique AI that can detect Addison's disease in canines.

Now, if you didn't know, Addison's disease is a rare but extremely fatal disease that dogs are afflicted with. It causes a significant decrease in hormones that are essential for normal health.

To top it off, the symptoms of this illness are very hard to recognize.

Normal machines can often confuse it with other diseases even after blood sample analysis. But this AI can alert the doctor with over 99% accuracy if a dog has or is close to having Addison's disease.

Conclusion

All in all, it is clear to see that Artificial Intelligence is moulding itself into being an essential and irreplaceable part of veterinary science.

Whether it involves bringing new technology in veterinary medicine or improving data-recording practice, AI has done it all.

Now, imagine what it would be like in the future.

In just the veterinary sector, there is the possibility that diagnostics, and even consultation, may become fully automated.

The American Association for Artificial Intelligence itself has expressed that the future of AI is bright, but unpredictable.

But all we can say now is that as AI will evolve and change, so will the veterinary industry. I’m ready for it. Are you?

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