If there is one thing that has characterised the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, it was the advance of technology in all areas of our lives. In the veterinary space, we have been able to experience this technological transformation first hand.
Thanks to these changes, we can count on advanced resources to offer better service to our clients and ensure first class veterinary care to our patients. But what is health technology and what have been the major advances in veterinary medicine?
What Is Health Technology?
Health technology is the research and development of technological advances related to the health sector, according to Economipedia. Its main objective is to prevent, cure or improve the monitoring of animal health. Depending on its use, it can be categorised into different branches, such as therapeutic, preventive, or diagnostic, for example.
Applications of Health Technology in Veterinary Medicine
The numerous advances in veterinary technology have made it possible to democratise some tools that, until a few years ago, were inaccessible to the majority of veterinary centres. Additionally, it’s now possible to create new instruments that are already indispensable in many clinics.
Improvements in Diagnostic Imaging
One of the most notable changes has been the expansion of diagnostic imaging and the use of tools such as CT scans. As Héctor Gómez points out in this interview for El País, until recently it was common to have a CT scanner in a specialised or educational centre, where people often reused instruments that were intended for human medicine. However, thanks to technological improvements, production and maintenance costs have fallen and diagnostic imaging is becoming increasingly common.
Wearables: A Quantum Leap for Monitoring During Hospitalisation
Wearables are some of the newest instruments that are becoming increasingly popular in veterinary clinics. One of their main characteristics is that the pet can move freely while wearing them, so that it can continue its normal life or be more comfortable during hospitalisation.
Through a wireless system, the veterinarian can get information about the hospitalised pet instantly, and even set alarms according to the parameters he or she wants to follow. An example of a wearable is the Dinebat Uno multi-parametric harness.
Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in Healthcare
Artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It is used on a daily basis in the algorithms of major social networks such as TikTok and Twitter. In veterinary medicine, the use of artificial intelligence is also gaining ground.
Thanks to its functions, it is becoming easier to detect patterns and signs of disease, so that they can be treated in time. Some American universities are working to demonstrate its usefulness in the veterinary world, as we explain in this article on artificial intelligence in veterinary medicine.
Another notable development is the use of 3D technology in various areas of veterinary medicine. From the visualisation of ultrasound scans in three dimensions to the use of 3D printers to make fully customised prostheses, 3D opens up a world of possibilities for visualising and detecting data that is indispensable when it comes to making diagnoses.
A Technological Trend That Has Just Begun
In short, in recent years we have experienced many changes that allow clinics to improve their services, optimise their time, and reach more accurate diagnoses. However, this is only the beginning of a trend towards technology, as year after year new proposals to improve the processes of our profession are emerging. Does this mean that one day we will be replaced by technology? Not at all! If anything, it will simply help us do our work better.