The Veterinary Innovation Summit

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Technology, AI, and the future of care.

The kickoff speakers at the recent Veterinary Innovation Summit held in Kansas City both set the tone for expanding the attendees’ current view of how and why things work in human health care, with a glimpse into the future to where we may be headed as technology, AI, and innovation are applied to the delivery of human medicine. It was incredibly interesting, and so relevant to the problems we face in veterinary care. And while the time gap continues to shrink, veterinary medicine typically follows human medicine.

Initially, I found myself somewhat relieved to know that the health care problems we face here in the U.S. are very similar to the problems throughout the world, with access to care issues, long waits, shortages of key personnel and more. Our family has faced this firsthand as my wife deals with a serious neck issue. Navigating where to go, who to see, getting in to see them, and making sure they are in the insurance network are all challenging. I was relieved to hear that we have brilliant people, from both inside and outside of health care systems across the world, who are actively thinking through and working on solutions that could be implemented in my lifetime. That’s exciting, and it’s coming to veterinary care as well.


Mary Lou Jepsen, the CEO and founder of Openwater, which develops technologies with the potential to revolutionize patient care, and Bertalan Mesko, MD, PhD., a renowned health care futurist and keynote speaker, created quite a buzz with their kickoff presentations. Jepsen walked attendees through the portable, wearable imaging devices that may change health care, across numerous disease states from cancer, to depression, strokes, Alzheimer’s and more. Mesko, speaking virtually, walked the crowd through how technology has redefined many parts of our lives already, with many of the transformational companies now setting their sights on health care, armed with technology and AI, with the goal of putting the patient directly in charge of their care.

Additionally, there were helpful educational tracks that followed, many of them focused on our current issues in veterinary medicine that we all know well. Like the kickoff speakers, these tracks were mind-opening and solutions-oriented, making it enjoyable, and providing a sense of yes, although it may take time, we can get there. If you haven’t attended the Veterinary Innovation Summit, which is put on by the not-for-profit Veterinary Innovation Council, I would highly recommend it. Although the dates and location haven’t been announced for 2024, it is usually held around the October time frame. Stay tuned!

 

Image credit: istockphoto.com/Krisada tepkulmanont