The latest technological advances in veterinary medicine confirm that we are experiencing a seismic shift in the sector. The emergence of new devices, such as wearables, digital radiographs, or improvements in diagnostic imaging offer professionals great support in improving veterinary diagnoses.
However, an even greater change is on the horizon, led by artificial intelligence. This is already applied in many aspects of our lives (such as social media or search engines), but what effects will artificial intelligence have on veterinary medicine? Is it possible that it’s already being used?
What Is Artificial Intelligence in Veterinary Medicine?
Artificial intelligence consists of simulating human intelligence through algorithms so that it’s capable of making decisions. Thanks to their characteristics, these algorithms can evolve very quickly and help solve specific problems, thereby supporting diagnosis.
This type of technology has a high capacity to learn based on its experience. For example, through information from hundreds of blood tests, it can detect patterns and come to an accurate conclusion.
In fact, artificial intelligence has a very close relationship with big data, which is also making a strong entry into the veterinary sector.
Uses and Examples of AI in Veterinary Medicine
Although, it’s still the early days in the advancement of artificial intelligence in veterinary medicine. Since the 2010s, several researchers have already started testing it for its practical uses.
One of its uses is in early detection. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, artificial intelligence identified nine dogs that tested positive for leptospirosis (100% sensitivity) and was also 90% sensitive in identifying dogs that tested negative (source: Animal’s Health).
Another study that highlighted its effectiveness in veterinary diagnosis was conducted by Krystel Reagen of the California Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Reagen helped develop an algorithm to detect Addison’s disease in dogs, and achieved an accuracy rate of over 99%. The algorithm was based on 1,000 blood tests, with which he was able to decipher the pattern of the disease (source: Veterinary Journal).
There are many other areas of veterinary medicine where artificial intelligence will also play a prominent role in the near future, such as in radiography or preventive medicine.
A Positive Look Into the Future with Algorithms
In short, although artificial intelligence is still in its infancy in the field of veterinary medicine, there are gradual advances that indicate a very positive future for the sector.
Thanks to the help of algorithms, veterinarians can use this technology to support diagnoses and quickly find solutions to complex problems. Artificial intelligence has a lot of potential in the field of veterinary medicine, but there is still a long way to go before its advantages are fully realised.