For some years now, we have been seeing major changes in veterinary clinics, thanks to new technology. Its application is wide-ranging, as it not only helps improve communication and the promotion of your practice, but it has also become a key tool in developing new procedures while improving veterinary clinical diagnostics.
New technology has improved the diagnostic imaging offered by ultrasound scanners and the continuous data collection that can be obtained through wearables. Thanks to these tools, the veterinarian can now access more information in order to pinpoint an animal’s ailment. Fortunately, these instruments are becoming more and more accessible to most clinics, and are becoming more prevalent throughout the sector.
Technology as a Complement to Veterinary Diagnostics
What role does technology play in clinical diagnostics? In most cases, it acts as a complementary tool for the veterinarian. The great advantage of having such instruments is that they allow us to obtain more information and test hypotheses before concluding a diagnosis. For example, it can help in the following ways:
- Obtaining data on a continuous basis. Having information on an animal’s health at different times of the day can help you detect variations that you wouldn’t have been able to discover otherwise. For example, you can collect information from the patient when they have an irregular respiratory rate while they are resting at home.
- Combining information. Another great advantage is the fact that you can combine several pieces of information to get this global view of the animal.
- Use it as a monitoring tool. You can also use technology to monitor the animal on a continuous basis. Preventive medicine plays a major role in this respect.
For example, you could use a multi-parametric harness for 24 hours with your patients in order to record their heart rate. In a subsequent analysis, you could detect a change that would indicate a high possibility of microinfarction. By detecting this, you can act accordingly to prevent the progression of your patient’s condition.
However, this is just one example of technology use, which can be extended to many situations, from postoperative monitoring to preventive medicine.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in Veterinary Medicine
Beyond new tools, we have also seen a significant advance in Big Data in recent years. Indeed, the management of Big Data in healthcare is a challenging subject that is still developing.
How can artificial intelligence assist veterinarians? By recording shared medical information in the cloud, AI makes it possible to compare large volumes of data to find similarities with previously recorded diseases. In the future, this type of technology will play a key supporting role, especially in more complex cases.
Just Another Tool
As we have seen, technology can be a great tool to help diagnose patients. However, it’s by no means intended to replace professionals, who will always be responsible for reaching the final diagnosis.
As new tools come into clinics, it will be necessary for professionals to dedicate time to training in order to make the most of this technology in their day-to-day work.