A great podcast on the future of veterinary telemedicine with Dave Leicester from Vets Now got us thinking about how the clientele is changing for many practices. A key takeaway is that the demographic for pet ownership has grown and shifted substantially in recent years. The most growth has come from Millennials. Women and couples aged 21-34, are having children later and tend to treat their new pet as they might a member of the family. They have disposable income which they are happy to spend on their ‘Fur baby’.
Millennials are accustomed to finding products and services online at a time convenient to them. This is where they are likely to first look when their pet is unwell. .
Baby or Fur Baby?
They will often want the convenience of booking and paying for an appointment online. They are also likely to want an appointment soon - even if this means a remote ‘triage’ appointment in the first instance. Interestingly, many millennials do not have an existing relationship with a vet practice.
We have recently adapted the VetConsult telemedicine platform to take account of these preferences:
- When booking the appointment the client can select whether this will be in person or remote.
- Clients can pay for the appointment up front
- They can trigger an online meeting room link at the time of booking, and receive timely reminders of the upcoming appointment
- Both vet and client can use videoconferencing or just voice, and share documents and images in the meeting room
- After the appointment and subsequent treatment, they can receive a full invoice for insurance purposes or a simple online payment request.
The VetConsult technology has been designed to be easy to use and inexpensive. The technology is cloud-based so no apps are required by the client or the vet. This means that any practice can get up and running with remote consultations in a matter of hours.
The RCVS is considering veterinary telemedicine as part of a ‘root and branch review’ of Veterinary Surgeon legislation. Start to explore the technology and have your say so that you can be involved.
"It is no use saying that you don’t like video consults and that the full clinical picture cannot be gleaned remotely. Clients are wanting this service and if you do not provide it, then others without your overheads will step in."
Mary Cousins, VetConsult
Another interesting observation from Dave Leicester is that a greater proportion of new pet owners are women, but the demographic wanting remote consultations is about 50:50 male and female.
Ask us for more information about how you can benefit from available technologies. Request a call back or ask for a VetConsult demo.