AGL and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are launching a breakthrough wearable pet monitoring system that provides round-the-clock behavioral information to help veterinarians diagnose and treat pets’ underlying health conditions. Vetrax, in conjunction with the Hill’s SmartCare program, was demonstrated in the Hill’s’ Pet Nutrition Technology Hub at the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) Conference on Sunday, February 5.
Since their patients can’t talk, veterinarians must largely rely on the perceptions and observations of the pet parent and, unfortunately, that sometimes means important signs can go unnoticed or be misinterpreted. AGL and Hill’s aim to close the resulting information gap with Vetrax and the Hill’s SmartCare program.
Vetrax technology revolutionizes how veterinarians and pet parents partner to maximize the effectiveness of a dog’s healthcare program. The Vetrax sensor, app and portal give veterinarians and pet owners access to continuous, detailed and accurate insights that go beyond basic activity tracking. For the first time, veterinarians have 24/7 access to observe classic derm signs, such as scratching and head shaking, along with other important pet behaviors, such as walking, resting, running and sleep quality.
Hill’s SmartCare combines this state-of-the-art sensor technology with the clinical nutrition of Hill’s Prescription Diet products.
“This technology will allow veterinarians to take their care to the next level,” said Jesper Nordengaard, vice president of Global Marketing and Innovation for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “They will be able to monitor the effects of their recommendations in nearly real time, providing them and pet parents with a new level of understanding about how therapeutic nutrition and other recommended therapies can help transform the lives of dogs suffering from dermatological, weight and mobility conditions.”
“We are thrilled that our first strategic partner, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, has elected to use Vetrax to enhance their portfolio offerings,” said Joe Young, chief operating officer of AGL. “Our sophisticated behavior monitoring capabilities, coupled with their long-standing expertise in pet nutrition, provide veterinarians with another tool to help manage their canine patients with these common conditions.”
Dr. Joel Griffies, DACVD, helped develop the Vetrax technology with his patients at the Animal Dermatology Clinic in Marietta, Georgia.
“As veterinary dermatologists, we ask pet parents how itchy their dogs are, but they don’t know because they’re not home for most of the day. Now, Vetrax helps bridge the communication gap by giving us an objective measurement, rather than relying on human observation,” Dr. Griffies said.
The Vetrax technology is powered by proprietary machine learning algorithms developed at Georgia Tech.
These cloud based algorithms process the data collected by the sensor to deliver actionable insights for veterinarians’ treatment protocols.
The Vetrax web portal serves as the hub where these insights are analyzed. This dashboard allows veterinarians to establish customized patient baselines and goals; confirm observations or help discover issues that may have gone unnoticed; and use this information to manage and modify treatment plans.
In addition, the Vetrax Pet Parent App features a personalized pet dashboard that keeps pet parents fully involved in their dog’s treatment. This can improve compliance by allowing the pet parent to be more engaged in their pet’s health and see measurable changes from their veterinarian’s treatment plan.
“By coupling the sophisticated sensor technology and cloud based analytical capabilities of Vetrax with the clinical nutrition of Hill’s Prescription Diet products, Hill’s SmartCare offers veterinarians a complete treatment system—the likes of which has not been available until now,” Nordengaard said.
AGL and Hill’s announced their strategic partnership at NAVC in 2016 and have spent the past year developing and validating the technology with select veterinary practices.
Hill’s SmartCare and Vetrax are now available to clinics across the U.S.