Pet ownership is on the rise, and so is telemedicine for humans. Is telemedicine also useful for diagnosis and treatment of animals? Aspiring vet med student, Erin Tan, did some research on the topic and shares what she thinks.
With canine pets licensed in Singapore increasing by 32% in the past decade – according to the Agri-Veterinary Authority of Singapore – and the booming pet industry in places like China and India, it is evident that pet owners form a large, and valuable, market.
The pet-care market in Asia is valued at around US$1 billion a year, and is expected to grow to US$1.5 billion by 2020.
Another trend in recent years is the rise of telemedicine in the human health industry.
There has been a proliferation of apps like MaNaDr, Doctor Anywhere and MyDoc, which aim to connect patients with doctors over a digital platform and make the provision of healthcare much more convenient.
There is much potential in marrying the two thriving industries together, by making telemedicine available for veterinarians to deliver medical advice and consultations to pet-owners, through virtual means.
Manifestations of veterinary telemedicine would include platforms for pet-owners to ask vets for advice by sending photos and messages to vets on duty, or tele-consults via video calls.