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  • Leeds tech firm building biggest pet healthcare database in the world

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    Brought to market by award-winning vet-tech start-up Vet-AI, ‘Joii’ is an artificial intelligence application set to revolutionise the UK and global vet market.

    Entrepreneur Paul Hallett, along with renowned veterinarians Robert Dawson and Sarah Warren, formed Vet-AI in 2017. They have since built a team of 19 specialists including OBE award-winning entrepreneur Jonathan Sands, highly-respected computational physicist Trevor Hardcastle, as well as former head of AI at push doctor, Josh Sephton.

    Built by a team of experts with cutting edge, bespoke technology, Joii will enable initial diagnosis from home and save pet owners up to 60% on normal vet fees, with access to 70% of the normal services. It uses complex algorithms, written by vets which help guide owners to the right outcome for their pet.

    This, coupled with the AI technology underlying the app, will mean pet owners can access immediate care for their animals and hopefully stop the dangerous practice of searching online for symptoms and self-diagnosing.

    A clinical trial by Vet-AI, the firm behind Joii, revealed that, in many cases, equally accurate diagnoses can be made by vets through a video consultation as can be made by vets giving a physical examination.

    An in-house survey, conducted across the firm’s three different social media platforms also evidenced the fact that pet owners avoid the vets because of price, and significant numbers of people would access care more frequently if it was cheaper and more accessible.

    Paul Hallett, co-founder of Vet-AI comments:

    “Our main aim is to improve animal welfare and to make pet care more accessible. But it’s also about helping those who provide that care. Much like human healthcare professionals, vets often experience difficult working conditions. Through the provision of digital services, Vet-AI wants to relieve the pressure on vets so that they can ultimately offer a higher quality of care. At the same time, this means fewer vet bills for owners, and less discomfort for pets that don’t tend to enjoy visiting a clinic.”

    Paul adds:

    "We believe we will drive more cases into physical practices as a consequence of engaging with pet owners early, and ultimately this will grow the overall market. We want to work with practices and create meaningful collaborations so we can help each other.

    “We are campaigning for changes around the guidelines for prescribe remotely for some areas of medicine, as this will help give people and pets access to care that aren't eligible for the PDSA, and can't afford practice prices. This inevitably improves animal welfare because currently these people have limited options. Both owner and pet suffer as a consequence.”

    Chief Data Scientist at Vet-AI, Trevor Hardcastle, continues:

    “Our AI is going to gain insight that has never been attained before. We are building the biggest and most reliable global pet healthcare database on the planet. That makes us different because we will have more data than any individual practice. It’s about the quality and consistency of the data, so we can start creating preventative intervention strategies.”

    Joii is free to download, offers a free symptom checker and if your pet requires a video consultation with a vet, this costs £20. The app also offers a range of free clinics run by the Joii nursing team designed to help owners keep their pets healthy. These include weight and dietary advice clinics, advice for pets travelling abroad, dental clinics, older pet checks and advice for puppies and kittens throughout their first year of life.

    Joii is now available for download. Search ‘Joii’ in the App Store.

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