A Texas-based, digitally optimized company focused on veterinary care is helping pet owners connect with medical professionals from the comfort of their homes, offsetting the impact of the social distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
TeleVet Inc., which is based in Austin but is used by local veterinarians, recently announced that they will be providing their animal telemedicine platform free for one month to provide essential animal healthcare, connecting animal patients to veterinarians all over the country. TeleVet is used across 1,000 clinics and is accessible on phone, tablet, or computer.
The free month will be provided to cities that have been hard-hit by the virus such as New York City, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Las Vegas, and Chicago.
"In some cases, clinics in impacted cities are having to suddenly shut down or doing drop off visits," says Steven Carter, co-founder, and CEO of TeleVet. "We see that telemedicine is a huge component to keeping their staff and their client base during a time when social distancing is critical to flattening the curve of coronavirus cases."
Houston-area vet Amy Garrou and the other vets in her practice have been using TeleVet for several months before the outbreak of the virus. Before the platform, animal patients and their owners had to come into the office for post-surgery check-ups or other outpatient procedures. Garrou says her practice has been increasing the number of patients who use the platform since before the social distancing measures, making it a part of their daily workflow.
"We can check for infections such as ear infections or drainage from either a still picture or a video, or even a live video conference with the owner," says Garrou. "The platform has been useful because we can do any of those consultations and get the information we need to manage the case without the pet owner having to come into the clinic."
In January, TeleVet closed a $2 million seed round with investments from Houston-based Mercury Fund and Nebraska-based Dundee Venture Capital. (Amy Garrou is the wife of Mercury Fund Managing Director Blair Garrou.) According to the company's LinkedIn page, TeleVet is hiring.
Since being founded in 2015, the company has become a U.S. market leader in animal telemedicine. Over the last few years, telemedicine has been quickly expanding, and during the coronavirus outbreak, there has been a greater rush to move towards providing telemedicine for humans as well as pets.
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