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British Study Shows Effectiveness of Virtual Care

Joii app users more often than not sought assistance with low-risk pet health issues.

British Study Shows Effectiveness of Virtual Care

Vet-AI, the developer of a British veterinary telemedicine app, has calculated that more than 80% of the consultations were manageable by remote means and that few cases resulted in an adverse event.

Based on 38,449 remote consultations completed during the pandemic, the report showed the value of veterinary telemedicine, said Vet-AI co-founder and certified veterinary dermatologist Sarah Warren, BVetMed, MS.

“Online veterinary services have provided an essential lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to do so today,” Dr. Warren said. “Managing less-urgent cases with remote consultations provides an affordable and convenient way for pet parents who would otherwise struggle to access high-quality veterinary care.”

The findings were revealed during a webinar hosted by the U.S.-based Veterinary Virtual Care Association. The presentation may be viewed at bit.ly/3yiRce0.

According to Vet-AI:

  • Over 80% of the cases conducted on the Joii Pet Care app were low risk. They often involved dermatological, musculoskeletal, ophthalmic or parasitic matters.
  • 1 in 4 cases led to a product recommendation, with about half of those involving prescription medications.
  • One-third of the medications dispensed were parasiticides.
  • 12% of cases did not require veterinary care.
  • Nearly 18% of cases needed non-urgent, in-person veterinary care.
  • 4% of cases were emergencies.
  • 2% of cases had an adverse event of some type. “All reactions were deemed mild,” Vet-AI concluded. “In all cases of adverse effects, it was found that medication was used appropriately, given at the correct dose and that a physical exam would have been unlikely to change the outcome.”

VVCA executive director Ali McIntyre called the Vet-AI numbers “groundbreaking.”

“Using a telemedicine service … to gather such significant and robust volumes of insight on remote prescribing and telemedicine is transformational,” she said. “The results speak for themselves in terms of the hugely positive impacts and outcomes achieved for pets and their owners.”

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