University Equine Hospitals and the Piavet Solution

University equine hospitals are well positioned to be the frontrunners in digitalization in the equine veterinary space. And one way to leap forward is by integrating a digital health monitoring solution into daily practice. The Piavet System is an advanced hardware and software solution that helps university practitioners support their students and interns while maintaining the highest standards of care for the horses. 

The University Case

The Piavet System sets university practices apart by giving vets immediate vital sign data, 24-hour monitoring, remote accessibility, and objective insights.

More Value, Increased Efficiency, Reduced Waste

University equine hospitals can also enjoy dramatic cost savings in large applications like the operating theater and the ICU, but also on things like low-value-add labor and materials. In addition, after the system pays for itself, continued use creates an additional zero cost revenue stream. Revenue that doesn’t require more investment and doesn’t incur additional operating costs. Ultimately, it helps generate greater value, increase efficiency and reduce waste. 

Better Communication, Easier Information Sharing

The two biggest reasons why university hospitals need the Piavet System are to increase and improve communication and to more easily share reliable information.

As university equine hospitals encompass both a commercial operation and a teaching environment, there is relentless demand for vets’ resources and needs. The professors are not only in charge of teaching and certifying their students, but are also responsible for the health and well being of the horses in their care. But as there are far more students than educators, the majority of those interfacing with the horses are still learning. This structure of the few teaching the many means that students are often given substantial responsibility in terms of patient monitoring and analysis as well as instantaneous decision making.

Today’s students and interns come from a tech-savvy generation. This means that while the majority of people working in university equine hospitals are very interested in seeing how technology is being applied to their careers, they are also still learning their trade and practicing proper care for the horses. This, of course, is an ever-present concern for vets.

Adding the use of the Piavet System alongside students’ regular rounds (i.e. taking manual vitals) gives everyone a chance to see how well new technologies can be integrated and also gives vets added confidence that the horses are never unattended. Students can perform their regular charting while the primary vet on the case can refer to the data collected by the Piavet System.  

Key Use Cases

When talking about the key use cases for university buyers, we have to realize that university equine hospitals are unique in the veterinary market structure. So first, let’s look at how the veterinary market works. 

Veterinary Market Structure

At the first level, there are the local ambulatory vets who will come to the horses in their home environments to check lameness issues, examine a suspected colic case, administer routine injections, etc. These vets are typically covering a small local area. 

If the ambulatory vet thinks the horse needs to be examined more closely or something needs to be handled in a clinic setting, the horse is sent to second level care at the referring clinic. This is where vets perform procedures such as tooth extraction, minor to mid-level procedures, in-patient colic monitoring, and more. These referring clinics cover a slightly larger area, as several ambulatory vets will refer to them. 

The third level is the university hospital. This is for horses with chronic disease, severe colic, major injury, or who otherwise require high-level and often emergency procedures. In many major marketplaces, there is often a university hospital that services a wide area. So by default, the universities serve the most severe or chronic cases.

Surgical Lifecycle

One of the top two use cases for university users encompasses the full surgical cycle from receiving the patient to pre-op, surgery, post-op, and recovery. With the long-lasting battery life and remote monitoring capabilities of the Piavet System, equine vets and specialists can monitor high-risk horse throughout this entire lifecycle.

Anesthesiologists are especially in favor of such a system because they’re able to see, non-invasively, how the horse is doing under anesthesia, which is riskier for horses than it is for humans. This not only gives vets and specialists a clear picture of the horse’s health throughout their stay at the hospital, but also helps put clients’ minds at ease.

ICU and Isolation

The other big use case is the ICU where horses are in isolation. In order to do a routine check, vets must go through a rigorous procedure to sanitize and “gown up” before they can even enter the area to attend to the horses simply to take routine vitals. With the Piavet System, you can dramatically reduce cost because you can put the system on the horse and monitor their vitals remotely. This allows you to enter the ICU less often and therefore save money on materials and reduce low-value-add labor, freeing up techs and students to work on value-added tasks. 

Research Applications

Universities are pursuing many research studies at any given time. For example, one prospective university customer in the United States is interested in using the Piavet System to test drug efficacy in blind studies. They want to monitor vitals signs—particularly looking at the ECG and cardiac data—for drug indications in race horses. 

Another potential research opportunity is looking at performance recovery in sport horses. Earlier this year we looked at a very small sample group of eight two-year-old colts at a Standardbred harness racing facility. These colts came from two different sires—four from one and four from another. The trotters all did the same high-intensity workout and then wore the Piavet System immediately afterwards for 30 minutes. The trainer was looking to see how long it took for their heart rates to return to normal. While this was an extremely small sample group and does not in any way indicate validated results, the findings were exciting. Of the eight colts, half of them recovered markedly faster on average than the others. The really exciting part is that those four colts who recovered faster were by the same sire. 

While true findings can’t be drawn from such a small sample group, it was incredible to see that there’s potential to use the Piavet System to find correlations between performance recovery and blood lines. As breeders are always looking to produce winners, this kind of information could be incredibly valuable to the highly competitive equine industry. 

At Piavita, we like happy vets and healthy horses. It’s that simple. Our mission is 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 in Europe and the USA, with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Have a question or suggestion? We’d love to hear from you.

Feature Image Source: Royal Veterinary College

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