If you haven’t heard the terms ‘Veterinary Telehealth’ or ‘Veterinary Telemedicine’ yet, you’re in for a treat (no pun intended). Treating your pets with the best technology the medical industry offers, Veterinary Telehealth is a blessing indeed.
All you need is a decent WiFi connection and at your fingertips is the cutting edge medical technology without you having to leave your home.
Many well-known veterinary service providers(online vet) offer telehealth for pets. The most popular services offered are telecommunication, teleconsulting, teletriage, teleadvice, e-prescribing, and mHealth.
In this article, we’ll be taking a holistic look at Veterinary Telehealth and how it is mitigating the need to rush to a hospital.
It’s in the name. Telecommunication is an essential yet crucial branch of telehealth where a healthcare professional communicates with the pet parent via electronic means.
As telecommunication technologies can support long-distance, one-on-one conversations, you can speak to a vet a few blocks away or in a different country, with no difference from one to the other.
This form of healthcare back & forth often takes place via videoconferencing, forwarding imaging, streaming media, and other forms of wireless communication.
Telecommunication is the foundation for the rest of the forms of telehealth, as communication is vital, and the rest of the nuances occur as a consequence.
Defined as the interaction between a medical expert and a patient for diagnostic advice via electronic means, Teleconsulting has practically saved millions of lives during the Covid19 pandemic.
Even though doctors & clinicians prefer personal interaction with the patient to gauge the ailment more precisely, consulting a veterinarian over a video call makes sense for a pet.
To mitigate unnecessary visits to the vet ER, scheduled consultation over the internet enables the assessment, monitoring, and follow-up of unwell pets who don’t necessarily require a personal evaluation.
Triage was a successful medical method of assigning a degree of emergency to the illness of a large number of people during the Covid19 pandemic.
Teletriage is a technologically advanced nuance of the Veterinary Telehealth service, which often comes in handy during Zoonotic disease epidemics.
Apart from cattle, many veterinary care centers offer Teletriage for domestic animals as well.
By providing proprietary or government-run apps(websites), veterinary centers collect information like symptoms, medical history, and diagnostics, which helps guide pet parents to seek additional treatment.
The medical expert monitors your pet remotely and advises if you should come to the ER if required.
As the name entails, Teleadvice is when a veterinarian goes through your pet’s diagnosis and provides you with crucial advice on how to treat your pet at home.
The vet may utilize other Telehealth services for the diagnosis to recommend the best nutrition, medication, routine, and care for your pet.
Used as a one-off service, Teleadvicers even entertain one-time consultations and recommend a specialist if your pet needs deeper diagnosis & medical attention.
e-Prescribing or electronic prescribing is when the online veterinarian can write prescription information into a computer device, website, or app, and it instantaneously appears on the pet parent’s app.
The same prescription information also appears in the drug store database, and the pharmacist can prepare your pet prescription without delay.
Working seamlessly and eliminating the hassle of carrying a piece of paper from the online vet to the pharmacy, e-Prescription is also eco-friendly.
The said practice also reduces the chances of medication mistakes by the doctor and the pharmacist.
mHealth, short for mobile health, is the practice of veterinary medicine on mobile devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops.
As developing nations begin to use smartphones rampantly, the mHealth market has seen substantial growth in recent years.
Performing functions like monitoring vital signs, delivering crucial pet health information, enabling remote examination, diagnosis, and more, mHealth makes it easy for you to care for your beloved pet.
Veterinary Telehealth Best Used Case Scenarios
Veterinary telehealth works very well in the following scenarios.
- Transportation problems
- Behavioral training/issues
- Basic teletriage
- Dermatological infection concerns
- Post-surgery care/follow-up
- Hospice care
- Infectious disease concerns
- Long-term health monitoring
Telehealth services are well equipped to deal with the aforementioned usual scenarios and much more.
Veterinary Telehealth Industry:
As of 2020, the global veterinary telehealth industry is valued at an impressive $92 million.
This industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.5% between 2021 and 2028, which shows great numbers to hold high hopes and aspirations for the future.
The adoption of IoT and the explosion of AI technology are prevalent zoonotic diseases that are significant drivers. Not to mention the increase in kidney diseases, spinal problems, diabetes, blood pressure, and other pet health issues are speeding up the process of innovative methods of treatment.
Waggle Pet Camera
Speaking of innovation and technology for pets, WaggleCam is the perfect gift for your beloved furry friend. An adorable pet camera designed to keep your pet safe when you’re away, WaggleCam can do more than monitor your naughty buddy.
Connected to the WiFi and enabled with night vision, WaggleCam not only transmits a live feed to your mobile device but can do so in pitch darkness.
As icing on the cake, WaggleCam can keep your pet entertained as it equips you with a treat tosser that you can control, irrespective of the distance.
If you’re in love with WaggleCam, wait no further. Order one for your pet right away.
- What kind of telehealth services do veterinarians offer?
Teleconsulting is one of the most utilized telehealth services. Medical professionals have used telemedicine of all kinds for nearly 25 years, but it is relatively new to the veterinary industry. Radiology is one of the rampantly used services by pet owners and radiologists alike.
- Is providing telehealth service for pets legal?
Yes. It is legal for veterinarians to provide telehealth services to pets as long as a VCPR(Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship) is established as defined in the state’s ‘veterinary practice act.’
- Do insurances cover telehealth consultations?
It depends on your pet insurance provider and the way they handle online/virtual medical consultations. Some providers offer free telehealth coverage for being a part of the program.
- Where do I find reputed veterinarians who provide telehealth services?
The American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA) has created an evaluation checklist for the benefit of its members. You may find reputed veterinarians here.
- What equipment do I need to avail myself of telehealth services?
The camera and the microphone built into your smartphone, tablet, or laptop suffice the need for you to avail telehealth services. A robust and steady internet connection is a must as crucial medical information is transferred back & forth.
- Can an online veterinarian be trusted to give sound advice?
Absolutely. Online veterinarians are highly qualified medical experts, and pet owners can quickly check their credibility on websites and medical establishments as well. They can even have a frank discussion with the vet about their concerns, and most are happy to clarify any questions.