It’s not just humans who are benefiting from Israel’s numerous innovative healthcare solutions, pets are part of the picture, too.
PetPace, provider of a new IoT pet collar for remote real-time monitoring and analysis of vital signs and activity, says its product can give four-legged friends improved health and quality of life.
“Pets don’t tell us when they’re sick or they’re in pain. Their survival instinct is to hide their sickness or pain because in nature an animal that shows weakness becomes prey. So, they maintain that instinct and don’t tell us when they’re in pain,” Dr. Asaf Dagan, chief veterinary scientist at PetPace, tells ISRAEL21c.
The PetPace collar uses non-invasive sensors to monitor data including temperature, pulse, respiration, activity levels, positions and calories throughout the day. If the collar detects any abnormalities, an alert is sent in real-time to owners and veterinarians.
“Even the most dedicated owners will only realize that something is not right [when] the disease is already in an advanced stage. That’s the crux of the problem and that’s where we want to make a difference. To provide early detection of the diseases is truly revolutionary,” says Dagan.
Indeed, the groundbreaking real-time alert aspect of this collar is making waves in the tech community.
PetPace was recently named “Israel’s Most Promising Startup” in a competition sponsored by Israeli business daily Calcalist, together with the Israel Export Institute and Israel’s largest commercial bank, Bank HaPoalim. The company beat out 150 other startups in all fields.
“Beyond the market validation that this award provides our hard-working team, we look forward to the new business opportunities it will undoubtedly provide,” said Avi Menkes, cofounder and CEO of PetPace.
Menkes, together with Dagan and Avner Schneur, head of the US-based Kormeli technology investment group, founded PetPace in 2012. The collar entered the market earlier this year and is currently available in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The company, which has offices in Tel Aviv and Burlington, Massachusetts, will represent the Israeli technology community at the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this February.
Disrupting the pet market
The pet market is barking up the multi-billion-dollar tree as wearable technologies, smart gadgets and netwoofing for Fido and Fluffy try to pounce on a share of the $50 billion market for pet products.
Israelis have developed an innovative range of out-of-the-box products for the world’s pet owners, from DogTV to a revolutionary, mess-free pooper-scooper to the Hachiko clip-on activity monitor to the Keepi litter box that tracks your cat’s health.
Dagan says PetPace’s unique low-power, wireless and non-invasive collar, which communicates via smartphone and web app, is more than just a fitness-tracking device.
“There are many products out there and all of them do basically the same thing: they measure movement and activity on dogs. We do that as well but we do a lot more than that. Activity is only one piece of the puzzle in the well-being of a pet. If you’re really interested in their well-being and the pain level, you need to have more data. And that’s where we come in,” Dagan tells ISRAEL21c. “We’re positioning ourselves as a medical tool for veterinarians and pet owners.”
Data gathered by the purple or black PetPace collar (other colors will be added in the future) are continuously analyzed by a cloud-based analytics engine that examines individual, historical and breed-specific characteristics.
Reducing pet patients’ stress
Dagan says veterinary medicine offers ultrasounds and MRIs but overall has not been disrupted by high-tech innovations.
“If you’re a veterinarian, it’s a no brainer to use this collar. We have hospitals all over that buy the collar for in-patients, and also for follow-up patients,” Dagan says. “We also have pet owners who have dogs with medical conditions, and … people who want to know how their pets are feeling.”
“We place PetPace collars on a lot of our hospitalized patients in this busy, regional emergency center, with the purpose of bringing the standard of care to a new level, while reducing patients’ stress,” said Kim Earley, director of administration at the emergency veterinary hospital at Animal Clinic of Rapid City, South Dakota.
A recent case study showed how the PetPace collar enabled clinical staff to reduce stressful handling of a male indoor cat with an acute obstruction of the urinary tract — one of the most common conditions seen by veterinary emergency services.
“Examining the data provided by the PetPace collar in the context of clinical observations and other tests provides the attending clinician with a valuable tool to monitor in real-time the patient’s condition and response to treatment,” said Dagan.
PetPace plans to expand to help monitor the health of other animal species in the near future.
“People are looking at Israel as a powerhouse for technology,” Dagan says. “The credibility of Israeli tech is boosting the credibility of the product.”
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