AI-powered veterinary telemedicine in an app called ‘Joii’

Vet consultations from just £28. Resolve nearly 70% of pet care issues via a video consultation. Developed by vets.

Joii Petcare app
Joii app on the Vet-AI website. Screenshot.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is a heads up from me. I’m not getting commission from this startup although I think I deserve it! However, I do believe in harnessing AI to improve the lives of our cats and dogs. Veterinary visits are at least a nuisance and at worst a bit of a nightmare for both the caregiver and their companion animal so anything to ease the burden and I am all for it.

The Times reported yesterday, in a double page spread, on a new app on the block called ‘Joii’. Vet-AI (‘the future of veterinary care is here’) is the start-up behind the app and the enterprise was conceived by Sarah Warren, 48, with Robert Dawson her husband and fellow vet and Paul Hallett, a technology entrepreneur.

Sarah has cancer and she believes that it is unlikely that she’ll live beyond 50. She maintains her drive and passion to see the project through. An admirable woman.

As The Times (Naomi Ackerman) reports on this so well, I’d like to quote a section of her article (précised) to explain the app:

The team spotted a gap in the market for ‘pet telehealth’ enhanced by AI [artificial intelligence]. They formed a partnership with AI researchers at the University of Leeds and launched their Joii app, which uses AI to analyse potential health issues in animals and offers pet owners low-cost, 24/7 remote consultations with trained vets. After five years of algorithm training, the company says Joii can detect pain in a cat’s face from a single image with 90% accuracy.

The Times (précised slightly)

Sounds great. A slightly critical comment would be that we’ve be able, for a while now, to see pain expressed in a cat’s usually impassive face so this is not staggeringly new. And in confirming that a cat is in pain does not diagnose the illness causing it. I suppose this is where the vet comes in with a face-to-face discussion via the app using smartphones.

It seems to me that two developments were the seed for this app: Covid-19 and AI. During Covid some vets used telemedicine consulting as it was impossible to visit clinics. And recently we have a surge in interest in AI. They say that AI will profoundly change our lives. I believe them.

Joii is doing well. There have been more than 200,000 online consultations. They expect an increase of 50 percent this year to a revenue of £1.5 million.

They have raised more than £12.6 million from venture capital investors and industry partners. They see a great future for the app. I think they are right. The veterinary market is worth £5.3 billion in the UK.

The problem for many is that in the UK independent vet clinics are being bought up by hedge funds and the subsequent impersonal chains are run by men in grey suits which inevitably leads to increased prices and a less personalised service. This development may help Joii to become more successful.

RELATED: Provision of veterinary services should be funded along the lines of the best human healthcare systems

I think for many minor ailments and for worried pet owners who are concerned about their companion animal’s health the first port of call might be Joii. It would operate as a triage system, filtering out the easy to diagnose and treat while leaving the more serious illnesses to be dealt with in the clinic.

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo