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The platform is aimed at alleviating burnout among vets, who have a high suicide rate
Physician burnout is coming down, but it's still extremely prevalent, with over 40 percent of doctors in the United States still saying they were exhibiting at least one symptom of burnout as of 2017. Physicians are overworked, and suffering for it.
Though it's not talked about as much, the same thing applies to veterinarians; in fact, it might be even worse: a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018 found that suicide rates for veterinarians in the United States are higher than the general population.
TeleVet is a company that wants to alleviate some of the symptoms that lead to burnout among vets, and it does this by giving them a dedicated telemedicine platform that allows them connect remotely with their existing patients.
"At TeleVet, we know veterinarians struggle to meet the growing demands of their evolving clients while running a successful business," TeleVet co-founder and CEO Steven Carter told VatorNews.
"We’ve created a platform that connects them through familiar channels such as texts, emails and video calls to helps vets provide care, conserve time and generate revenue on their terms so they can maintain a healthy work-life balance and a thriving practice."
On Tuesday, the company announced that it raised a $2 million seed funding round, co-led by Dundee Venture Capital and Mercury Fund with participation from GAN Ventures. Prior to this round, the company had raised about $300,000 in angel funding
TeleVet's customers are veterinary practices that are "looking to implement new ways of connecting with their client base," Carter said. That means it works with clinics that are small, single-owner practices, all the way up to clinics with over 20 veterinarians on staff.
With the TeleVet platform, pet owners can send in virtual consultations directly to the clinic for review, after which the vet can share a diagnosis and treatment plan for the pet's health condition with the owner. They can then do follow-up appointments with pets they've already provided care for.
The platform allows clinics to integrate TeleVet into their existing office workflows, meaning they are able to do things like receive and schedule virtual consultations, allow online appointment scheduling, and assist with digital prescriptions. TeleVet provides vets with tools through partnerships with companies that include Embrace pet insurance, Vetsource for home prescription delivery and Covetrus practice management software.
Each vet can set their own prices for each service; TeleVet's prices start at $75 a month, and the company says many of them can recoup the cost in one or two visits.
"While the ROI for practices varies, we know that they can charge similar prices as their in-house appointments while doing consultations in significantly less time. This creates an ideal monetization strategy for veterinary clinics and their staffs’ valuable time while still giving pet owners peace of mind, less stressful care and avoid taking time off work to travel to their clinic," Carter explained.
Of course the platform isn't only beneficial for physicians, but for pet owners as well; anyone who has ever struggled to get a cat into a carrier, for example, knows how much easier it would be to be able to have a consultation over video.
"For pet owners, we are focused on making it easier to own a pet and build a relationship with a veterinary clinic. To use the service, they can easily download our app and connect with their practice to easily send or receive virtual consultations from their practice."
While there are other similar teleservices available in the market, like Fuzzy Pet Health and LifeLearn, some of which target the pet owner directly, while others focus on vet practices, the thing that differentiates TeleVet, Carter told me, is "the culture of service and care we've implemented as a team."
"We want clinics to know we don’t just care about your practice, we care about you as an individual. This means we listen when our customers talk and quickly work to solve their problems. Aside from that, when we chat with our customers we frequently hear we provide an exceptional user experience that is easy to use," he said.
TeleVet plans to use the new money it raised to expand its team, which currently consists of five employees; it is looking to hire a backend software engineer and a customer success manager. Later this year, the company plans to focus on building out a sales team and expanding on its current teams for technology and customer success.
The funding will also go toward product development, though Carter says the company is not ready to announce what its new features would be at the moment.
The end goal for TeleVet, he told me, is "to create a better world for pets" which means putting a focus on "improving the lives of those who care for them."
"Veterinary fatigue and burnout are very real and something we think about each time we change our service or technology. While we can't completely solve these issues ourselves, reducing them even just a little would make TeleVet a successful venture."
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At TeleVet, we know veterinarians struggle to meet the demands of their clients while running a successful business. We’ve created a platform that helps vets provide care, conserve time, and generate revenue on their terms so they can maintain a healthy work-life balance and a thriving practice.