VetLink facilitates rural animal care

Researchers take an innovative approach, give veterinarians an upgrade

Technology has greatly enhanced our abilities to communicate and continuously evolve in developing more efficient ways to solve problems. A team of Prairie View A&M and Texas A&M University researchers led by Dr. Paul Johnson is developing a better way for rural communities to communicate with veterinarians and provide better care for their animals with the help of new technology innovations. His new concept VetLink will lead the way in connecting technology and science. The research conducted by this team was recognized and published at the 2018 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference.

Agricultural communities in rural areas often have difficulty to attain expedient information and resources for their animal health issues. Most veterinarians are usually more than an hour away from the farmers, and in most cases animal health issues are only addressable through phone conversation. Advances in technology have enabled many human health problems to be investigated through telemedicine approaches, and it is believed that a similar approach could improve access and quality of veterinary care, especially in remote locations. The appropriate application of telemedicine can enhance animal care in rural communities by facilitating expedient communication, diagnostics, and possible treatment recommendations, client education improvement, vet visit scheduling, and other tasks. In addition, a telemedicine system could be linked to a strong distance education program that could provide multi-media resources for consumers so that they cannot just solve a crisis, but they can be better informed and thereby prevent medical crises.

This project seeks to expand a web-based system and smart device app that will serve as a distance learning and a telemedicine tool to assist farmers in getting immediate support and reaching veterinary care professionals and extension agents. We believe that this service will be a powerful tool to assist animal producers in managing their animals, and to provide them the ability to obtain possible solution for problem they may encounter. We accomplish this by providing access to a database with any smart media device. This database contains simple to understand information with accompanying videos and pictures.

To read the entire article, please visit http://www.pvamu.edu/cahs/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/An-Innovative-New-Approach-to-Animal-Care.pdf

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