AI: 5 Tips for Veterinary Professionals

Never has the field of veterinary medicine evolved as fast as it was forced to over the past decade. Much like the veterinary industry, the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is constantly growing. In today’s blog post, using insights from the pack we discuss 5 tips for veterinary professionals and the people and pets they serve.


Generating Written Content

For many only just now hearing about what might feel like a new trend, learning just how much of our everyday online engagements are AI generated might be quite shocking. AI-driven content generator ChatGPT (the sibling model to InstructGPT) has gained popularity fast, across all remits even being used to write legal and MBA exams, leaving many educators still uncertain as to how they should broach its arrival. Some Australian states have banned its use completely in schools. And it's not just educators that are becoming flummoxed by AI, a team of recruiters in the UK unwittingly included an AI-written application in their final selection for a communications role.

DALL·E  - painting in the style of Matisse of a dog greeting its owner

But shock element aside, each of these examples are also evidence of just how well AI software can generate a variety of well written and engaging content. In fact it can pretty much write anything, given the right prompt this includes job specs, questionnaires and even formatted consultation notes. However, taking the above image generated by Dall-E using the prompt: ‘painting in the style of Matisse, showing dog with owner’ shows although it might be able to write anything it can’t quite do ‘everything’, just yet that is!

Assisting Diagnostics

AI has come a long way but it is still in the test phase to a certain extent with many feeling that its integration with platforms such as Hubspot are just not quite there! Although you might argue that, continuous testing is how its intelligence grows. One of the biggest potential benefits of AI in veterinary medicine (and possibly its super power) is its ability to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnoses. By using AI algorithms to analyse large amounts of data, such as medical images and lab results. Enabling veterinarians to respond more quickly and accurately in identifying health issues and developing treatment plans.

Time Efficiency

But with the power of AI comes great responsibility! The use of AI in veterinary medicine also raises some important ethical and legal questions.

For example, there are many concerns around the potential for AI algorithms to introduce bias or discrimination into the diagnostic process. AI systems after all are built upon the learning and development of training data, which led by humans naturally also includes bias. As we've seen in recent years these discriminations are often unconsciously but often insidiously embedded in our human led societies, cultures and histories. But even with sensitive variables actively removed, bias may still formulate.

Take Amazon for example who had been using a hiring algorithm, and subsequently stopped after realising it favoured key words such as 'executed' and 'captured', most commonly found in applications completed by male candidates.

Additionally, concerns might be raised around the extent to which pet guardians can control and influence the decisions made by AI systems when it comes to their pet's care and honouring their preferences over those of their clinic.

However, the key element to note here is that even the most unfavourable preferences of an algorithm are human led and that possibly the greatest power of AI is its ability to strive to improve the way in which results are formulated if programmed well to do so.

In finance, AI is being used to help detect fraud, predict market trends, and make investment decisions. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data from financial markets and use this information to make predictions about future market movements. This can help investors make better decisions and avoid costly mistakes. What does that mean to a veterinary practice? Safer transactions, better formulated notifications and more efficiently processed data, maybe.

In transportation, AI is being used to develop self-driving cars and optimise traffic flow. Self-driving cars use AI algorithms to detect obstacles and make decisions about how to navigate the road. This can lead to safer and more efficient transportation, with similar technology already being incorporated into clinical tools and instruments.

In entertainment, AI is being used to develop more immersive and interactive experiences. An AI algorithm's ability to analyse behaviours and preferences also means the ability to create personalised playlists, enhancing a user's experience and creating more engaged customers, with increased likelihood of continued custom.

A little too far fetched for veterinary? Not really!

How often do we adjust our styles and interactions depending on the breed of patient or personality of its carer? AI might be able to help improve consistency of great care by replicating these behaviours in training content or by giving a team insights on when best to book in a patient and even leading on helping you meet some of the above and beyond but achievable expectations of your pet owners by noting a patient's preferences such as favourite snack or their owner's preferred form of communication.

Improving Patient Outcomes

Another potential benefit of AI in veterinary medicine is the ability to provide more personalised and tailored treatment plans for individual pets. By using the power of AI to analyse a pet's medical history or current health status. By utilising such factors, veterinarians can develop treatment plans that are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of each pet. This tailored approach can help to improve the overall effectiveness of treatments and ensure that pets receive the best possible care.

There are so many AI learning resources including our own series of articles and webinars out there to bring you update to date with all the latest AI offerings.

Legal Implications

Overall, the development of AI in veterinary medicine has the potential to greatly improve the care that pets and their owners receive. Although, the greatest responsibility (if only for now) will be the importance for veterinarians and other stakeholders to carefully consider the ethical and legal implications of AI empowerment, ensuring that it is only ever used in a responsible and fair manner. AI and its ability to help serve the veterinary community in their continued efforts to better the quality of pet care they can humanly deliver is evidently vast.

For more insights from the pack why not also read Client Data and Privacy: Does PetsApp Own Your Clinic Data?

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