Dr. Nadja Iveta Meier owns and operates Tierartzpraxis Meier in Tann, Switzerland and has been a Piavita customer since late 2017. We talked with Dr. Meier about her experience using the Piavet System and how it has impacted her ambulatory practice. Here’s what she had to say.
Interview with Dr. Nadja Iveta Meier
How did you hear about Piavita?
A representative from Piavita called me and sent me some informational materials. She also came to my clinic and we talked about the Piavet System and where I saw the areas of application. That’s how I actually became aware of the product.
What encouraged you to buy the Piavet System?
I think the system is just great. You can check a lot of things without having to be there, so I don’t have to be in one place with the horse for long periods of time. In terms of monitoring, it’s also a relief for the [horse] owner in case of colic overnight. You can really send the owner home afterwards and assure them that you have the Piavet System and can look at it from home.
Even before the system had alerts, I regularly got up in the night to check if something was wrong [with the patient]. And if there was, I could call the owner and tell them to check the horse for this or that and then call me. So, I can say that the ability to check and monitor is a relief for all the people involved with the animals.
In which cases do you use the Piavet System most often?
The two things I use [the Piavet System] the most for at the moment are colic and as a 24h ECG to monitor the heart while moving the horse on the lunge line and in the resting phase.
Have you, or would you, use it for pregnancy monitoring?
I only have one mare at the moment, but I think gynecology would clearly be a case for using the system, although I don’t have any of these patients currently.
Another use case I could see is for narcolepsy, where you don’t know if a horse lies down often, and you need insight into the way it behaves. Similarly, for a horse that may have problems getting up, you could potentially use the Piavet System to see if when he struggles to get up there’s a sudden increase in heart rate. If you can see that this is happening more often, it might indicate a bigger problem. These are examples of where I can imagine using the Piavet System.
Can you tell us about a time you used the Piavet System?
I had a colic case that lasted several days and I was able to manage it perfectly with Piavet. I didn’t have to go to my client’s barn several times a day, and [the case] was really easy to monitor remotely—I was essentially out of the picture. I treated the horse at the beginning but after that, all monitoring was done via the Piavet System, so there were no more visits, which was cheaper for the owner in the end. Basically, I monitored the horse so the owner did not have to check on him all the time.
Having Piavet is not just a solution for owners but also for me, because horses that really need monitoring can be well monitored with this system, especially if the owner does not want to take them to the animal hospital. Naturally, sending clients to the animal hospital is a good option for horses that need to be monitored regularly, but with the Piavet System you can offer clients the option of monitoring their horses from home without large additional costs.
What are the implications for the customer if the horse has to go to the hospital?
It depends. I have to say the Zurich Animal Hospital is still a relatively affordable option. It’s just that the horse is transported to another location and many owners don’t want that—it’s a big change for them and the horse. From that point of view, the Piavet System is just super. I know that horses in a hospital setting are monitored every hour overnight. But I can’t do that in person at a private stable—the costs would go through the roof. But with the Piavet System you can be sure that horses are well monitored.
It only takes a little effort at home: I set an alarm for every hour and look quickly at the platform to see how the horse looks. Monitoring with the Piavet System is so easy—you can check the most important parameters just like in a hospital.
How has the Piavet System influenced your daily hospital routine?
I simply don’t have to refer so many animals [to the hospital], and I think that’s the future. And that’s the great thing about Piavet…you can simply leave it in the client’s stable.
One time, I treated a client’s pony who was sweating and experiencing pain, but I didn’t use the system. Afterwards I thought: ’I’m so stupid!’ I could have put the Piavet System on him to see what his pulse was when the pain rashes occurred and if it came down, and so on. I just have to think even more about putting on the Piavet System in these cases. Owners just can’t judge the situation right away, but the Piavet System is objective so you can see things more clearly.
Did the Piavet System bring any unexpected benefits to your practice?
No, not unexpected ones. I have seen many advantages and benefits from the beginning. I can’t say that there are surprisingly more benefits, simply because I correctly assessed the whole system from the start.
How has the Piavet System changed the daily routine or work in your clinic in general?
The Piavet System simplifies my everyday life, even if I don’t use it every day. Just knowing that I have it available simplifies a lot for me. You don’t have to think about what and how to organize—that alone makes it much easier.
If I have a feeling that a horse with colic is not out of the woods or we should monitor him for something else, I can put the system on and stop worrying so much. Without the Piavet System, if I have a feeling that a horse is not doing well while I’m at home, then I worry all the time and have to be on the phone a lot, which is a burden and a psychological strain.
Having the Piavet System helps because you can simply log into the platform to check on the horse from time to time. If you have a bad gut feeling, you can look at the horse’s vitals remotely to get reassurance. There’s always a concern about whether the owners are giving you the right information or not, but the Piavet System is very objective, so that is really a relief.
How have owners felt about using the Piavet System?
In the cases where I have used it so far, the owners have accepted it very well. For the colic case that we monitored for five days, the owner was totally happy with the system and found it to be a huge relief. I instructed her on how to recharge the battery after it ran out and then I was able to start it again remotely—that was so great. It’s absolutely brilliant. Being able to tell a horse owner that they don’t have to stay with their horse 24/7 is a great assurance for them and they’re glad such a monitoring system exists. So yes, horse owners are very happy when you have a monitoring system that works so well and it really is very simple to use with them.
Would you recommend the Piavet System?
Yes, absolutely. The Piavet System is very easy to handle, which makes everything very simple. All you need is a computer, the system, and an internet connection. You start it and that’s it—you’re in complete control. The Piavet System is great for ambulatory vets who are driving from client to client because they can support the owners so easily. Out in the field you have to do much more monitoring yourself and I think you can build up a certain owner loyalty if you don’t have to transfer their horse for monitoring. And as a mobile vet, this allows me to extend the range of my services.
At Piavita, we like happy vets and healthy horses. It’s that simple. Our mission it to transform veterinary care by providing remote health monitoring technology to the veterinary industry. With a non-invasive, sensor-enabled hardware device and sophisticated software platform, the Piavet Solution automates and digitizes repetitive, manual tasks to help vets save time and improve patient outcomes. We are a diverse group of engineers, developers, researchers, and horse people with a passion for delivering meaningful solutions to veterinarians. We operate out of offices in Zürich, Berlin, and North Carolina. Have a question or suggestion? We’d love to hear from you.