Debate over veterinary merits of telemedicine
Recent surveys of US and European veterinarians found that many in the profession see telemedicine as inferior to traditional hands-on examinations. However, Dr Bishop felt this was a mistake and that veterinary telemedicine had the potential to better promote animal welfare, appeal to tech-savvy pet owners and reach under-served pet populations.
Dr Bishop cited research that found pet owners were willing to pay between $38 to $40 USD for a virtual visit with a veterinarian. Though admittedly low, the fee is notable in light of the 2011 Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study that found a sizable proportion of US pet owners cited cost as the reason why they didn’t take their pets to a veterinarian.
“It’s actually an advantage that a telemedicine visit would be cheaper because it’s accessible to a lot of people, and there’s a lot of people that need that,” said Dr Bishop. Read more