Tell us about how your company got started.
I started healthypets in 2016 shortly after adopting my first dog, a yellow Labrador Retriever named Bo. Bo suffered through many ailments within the first 12 months of his life; some rare, some common, but regardless of the severity, I was riddled with worry. I was shocked to realize that the technological efficiencies present in human healthcare were completely absent in pet healthcare. I needed to speak to a veterinarian on demand, but time, money and inconvenience prevented me from traveling into a clinic, and for obvious reasons, I was unsatisfied with the results of any internet search. I realized that pet owners like myself were searching for a telehealth solution, and yet none existed within Canada. Shortly thereafter, I quit my biotechnology career and pursued healthypets.io full time. Bo also accepted his role as the company CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer).
How many interactions with clients/consumers have you had?
Healthypets has been in market for two weeks now, and we’ve interacted with a few dozen consumers who have found our website organically. However, we are now in the process of onboarding entire clinics, so we expect this number to increase dramatically in the near future.
How many repeat interactions have you had?
None so far. Fortunately the pets we’ve serviced have yet to experience a repetitive problem (and our vets are just that good).
Do you employ veterinarians or do you provide a service to them?
I am not a veterinarian. Therefore, I cannot employ veterinarians. healthypets is an online marketplace and offers a service for both pet parents and vets: vets can serve clientele after hours, and pet owners can access reliable answers to their pet health and wellness concerns and questions on demand.
Does using your service result in in-clinic visits?
It depends on the outcome of the consult. The three potential outcomes that occur as a result of using the platform are: 1) don’t sweat it!; 2) to be monitored; or 3) it’s serious! healthypets effectively triages in the appointments that need to be seen in-person, but triages out the appointments that are serviced through telehealth. This allows the vet to fill their in-clinic schedule with profit-maximizing appointments and monetize time-consuming questions that are otherwise serviced through phone or email. It also facilitates peace of mind for the pet owner - no matter the time of day or night - and often saves time and money as a result.
What kinds of patient outcomes have you experienced? Do you have any stories you can tell us?
We’ve experienced a variety of patient outcomes including saving a trip to the vet, triaging to a specialist, and facilitating second or third opinions in a cost-effective way.
What does the ideal client look like for you? What kinds of problems do they have?
The ideal client is either a millennial or baby boomer, likely female, often living in urban geographic regions with above-average disposable income. They either expect service immediately and conveniently (millennial) or are looking for more accessible vet care (baby boomer). They may have a host of problems, whether with a new puppy and its development, a newly spayed cat, an exotic animal concern, or general health and wellness questions related to nutrition, behaviour, temperament, etc.
What can veterinarians do to incorporate your technology?
We’ve built healthypets with simplicity in mind - it’s very easy to incorporate into current practice management. The first step is to click Join Our Team and Register Now on the healthypets.io website, and we’ll guide you from there. Everything is turn-key for your convenience.
What kinds of questions do they have?
The most common question we hear is: ‘what does my regulatory body think of this’? healthypets was designed alongside input from the CVO, so we’re well aware of what they think (it’s awesome!). Questions also center around best practices, client concerns, and prescribing medication.
What suggestions would you have for clinics interested in using your tools?
Sign up! We’ve done a ton of market research and although 90% of pet parents have never previously utilized veterinary telehealth, 80% are likely to do so in the future, and 60% are willing to switch veterinary service providers in favour of one who utilizes this technology.
What suggestions do you have for vets interested in telehealth but don't know where to start?
Understand what the CVO/ your regulatory body thinks of telehealth and ask your clients if telehealth is a solution they are looking for. The majority of my day is spent talking to vets, so I am also always available to answer any questions.
What does the business model for the veterinarian look like?
Veterinarians pay $30 per month to utilize the software. They receive a fixed fee to accept a consultation request from a pet owner.
What kinds of revenue do veterinarians tend to generate using your product?
Veterinarians received a fixed fee to accept a consultation request from the pet owner. More importantly, however, they are increasing client satisfaction, which helps to retain client loyalty. Seeing as the average pet is worth between $30,000-40,000 to a vet from birth to death, this is extremely important to a veterinarian. At the end of the day, they are running a business.
When vets use your tool, how are they charging the client? Is it part of an overall package, a one-time fee, an option to be part of a package?
The software charges the client for them. Clients opt to pay for a one-time consultation or subscribe for unlimited access.
What have you found to be the easiest, most effective, revenue generating?
Most pet parents are opting for a one-time consult right now.
Is there greater or lesser revenue for veterinarians as a result of using your service (we have found that people who use telehealth services first and then go into veterinarians afterwards are more likely to go into the vet and spend more money while there)?
Veterinarians benefit from increased revenue as a result of utilizing telehealth. Not only are they adding an entirely new source of revenue to their practice, they are effectively filling their in-clinic time with profit maximizing appointments, and triaging out appointments that can be serviced online.