Continuous Remote Health Monitoring of Horses is already a reality: The Barkhof Case

The Head of the Equine Clinic Barkhof, Dr. med. vet. Heinz Jaugstetter, purchased the Piavet System with a vision to continuously and remotely monitor the vital parameters of his patients.

This begins with a check-up at the time of admission, one hour before the operation, when the horse is laying down, during the operation, in the recovery phase and finally post-operative when the patient is then being measured permanently.

“The Piavet System allows me and my team to react more quickly to circulatory problems, for example during the critical recovery phase and the subsequent hours. Compared to conventional intensive care monitoring intervals, our medical quality has improved significantly“, says Dr. Jaugstetter about the main benefit of the system. “For example, one can respond much faster to post-operative problems such as colic or reflux and use a more targeted therapy. He sees another important advantage in the increased safety for staff and patient during the recovery phase, as the manual measurement of the vital signs can be replaced, and more distance can be kept from the anaesthetised horse. Through the integrated control function, in which all counted heartbeats and breaths on the Piavet platform are marked, the frequencies can be traced transparently at any time.

In addition, Dr. Jaugstetter appreciates the versatile use cases. The ECG included in the system is particularly easy to use, which is very advantageous for check-ups. Long-term ECGs are great for the clarification of performance deficits or cardiac patients. The secure documentation of, for example, arrhythmias during purchase examinations and their visualisation to the owners, ensures transparency and contributes to improved communication between all participants. This is especially useful in young horses with increased susceptibility to stress, where the system helps much towards for unadulterated values. A completely different aspect for Dr. Jaugstetter is the improvement of the working conditions of his team. This is especially notable during the night shift, when the hospital staff will be relieved of certain duties. Alina Papenhausen, a newly recruited veterinarian, now uses the Piavet System as part of her doctoral thesis and explains that “the fact that the vital signs are measured continuously and in parallel opens up completely new possibilities in research“. So we can be curious about what insights she will gain from this.

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