Tell us about how your company got started.
IT Medical is the parent company whose main business is human telemedicine. We found that people spend a lot on their pets and it was an easy transition to doing pet telemedicine. We started in 2014 and it has taken over a year of programming to develop software that was not available anywhere else. We are constantly evolving with new ideas to add to the app and new technology.
How many interactions with clients/consumers have you had?
We have had over 18000 calls with our Vets Plus More branding over the last 20 months. We currently do more than 3000 calls a month with all our clients, not including our closed loop clients.
How many repeat interactions have you had?
We currently have about a 17% repeat business and growing.
Do you employ veterinarians or do you provide a service to them?
We currently have 62 vets available to us on an hourly basis. We pay our vets hourly if calls come in or not. We use mostly Locums from around the world.
Does using your service result in in-clinic visits?
With our Vets Plus More branding app we don’t have the data to track if we recomend the client to a vet if they go. If it is an open or closed loop system, the vet on record gets an email letting them know we have had a call from their client and they will get an email with the client’s name and number so they can follow up with the client. On the closed loop system, the vet clinic gets a lot more info to track if the client comes in or not.
What kinds of patient outcomes have you experienced? Do you have any stories you can tell us?
We can not help everyone but we can help most. We have had quite a few great outcomes. The one thing that I have been told by our vets a lot is that the client is a bit panicked and as soon as the vet comes on via video they can see the relief in their faces knowing that help is there. We have helped anything from cut paws in the park to constant scratching to food allergies. We get a full menu of issues.
What does the ideal client look like for you? What kinds of problems do they have?
- Our services can help anyone with a pet in the convenience of their own home or away.
- We can offer a cost effective alternative for those people with limited budgets.
- We can help anyone that might have mobility issues (either pet or person).
- We can offer assistance to those who cannot access their own vets or just have general questions about their pet’s health.
What can veterinarians do to incorporate your technology?
Each Vet Clinic can lease our software so they can give their own clients peace of mind when they are not available. They can charge a fee to bring in a revenue stream.
Our open loop system will free up Vets from answering questions over the phone which will allow the vets to help more clients. It will also help their clients after hours.
Each Vet will get notified when their clients use our services so they can follow up if they choose.
Our technology can send push notifications and reminders to clients, thus saving them on mail-outs and paperwork.
Closed-Loop Service Summary
The entire app software is available on a monthly lease, which is very easy to setup and implement. The vet can choose when they want the video texting available to their clients. The clinic would assign 1 or more vets to answer the calls throughout the day or evening during their regular shift. The back office can easily be controlled by the vet staff.
Open-Loop Service Summary
Clinics will purchase credits for the year (min 600) that they will then sell to the client at their discretion. For every call placed to Vets Plus More from a client of your clinic, a credit will be deducted and an email will be sent to the clinic with the pet and owner information so the regular veterinarian can follow-up with their client. Credits can be topped up throughout the year depending on the usage by the clinic. This system allows a practice to become a 24h value to your clients and will be able to serve owners and generate revenue for the clinic, even when the practice is technically closed.
What kinds of questions do they have?
Most of our questions revolve around health, nutrition or behaviour of newly adopted pets.
- What kind of food should I be feeding my animal?
- What treats and toys are safe?
- My cat is urinating outside their litterbox what should I do?
- How do I stop my dog from jumping up on everyone?
Some of our other questions have been (medical emergencies, first-time pet owner concerns):
- There is some blood in my dog’s stool, should I take them into the vet?
- What kind of vaccinations do I need to get my puppy?
- I just adopted a kitten do I need to vaccinate my kitten if I'm planning to keep them inside?
- My dog got into a bottle of Tylenol - should I take them to emergency?
What onboarding strategies do you have?
Vets can charge a monthly or yearly fee for the service. It can be added to the current invoice.
Posters that encourage clients to download the app from the playstore or The app Store can be put in the office.
After each visit from the client, a quick suggestion can be made to add after-hours service for peace of mind.
Suggestions that all Vet clinic communication can be done through the app (e.g., reminders about heartworm or rabies etc.).
What suggestions would you have for clinics interested in using your tools?
We would highly recommend leasing our services and marketing the service to all their clients. The more clients that have our technology, the more effective certain components of the app will be such as the lost and found component.
By using the app, it allows clinicians to let us take the time to answer questions, help owners find their lost pets, while giving veterinarians a chance to earn more revenue for their clinic and transition the practice into the future of telehealth. We can help you capture another generation of pet owners that use technology extensively in today’s world.
What suggestions do you have for vets interested in telehealth but don't know where to start?
The first step would be to direct them to our website: www.vetsplusmore.com and view our videos under "How it works". Our website will answer most questions you have. Our Vets Plus More representatives are more than happy to help answer any questions as well. Send us an e-mail and we will promptly be in contact.
What does the business model for the veterinarian look like?
We have our entire app software available on a monthly lease, which is very easy to setup and implement. The vet can choose when they want the video texting available to their clients. The clinic would assign 1 or more vets to answer the calls throughout the day or evening during their regular shift. The back office can easily be controlled by the vet staff.
What kinds of revenue do veterinarians tend to generate using your product?
Most of our vet clients give the service away to their existing clients as a value added. We have quite a few that charge a yearly fee of $12 to each client to have access to them through the app.
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? What have you found to be the easiest, most effective, revenue generating?
Some vets charge $12 when a client comes in for a check up allowing them access now through the app for the year. We also know that some clinics are giving it away for free for a year and then charge for the service. It is completely up to the clinic on what they charge and what hours they want the service to be available to their clients.
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)?
The vet will gain more business with Telemedicine by reaching clients that tend not to come in, e.g., mostly cat clients and by directly video chatting with them they are more likely to come into the clinic .They will also be able to do prescriptions for their clients if they have had a relationship with that pet. They will gain millennial pet owners who are very comfortable interacting and receiving information through their smartphones. Clinics can also send reminders through the app about heartworm, flea and tick season, saving staff time from being on the phone.