How can artificial intelligence change your practice?
Through AI platforms, computers can learn to mimic human thought processes and cognitive functions, but with increased speed and learning ability. Artificial intelligence has several sub-disciplines, including machine learning, unsupervised learning, and deep learning. The versatility of AI makes it useful in a wide variety of medical disciplines. In human medicine, AI has already found applications in areas such as drug design, anesthesiology, cardiology, radiology, oncology, and infectious disease management.
In general veterinary practice, protocols for vaccination, parasite prevention, and many aspects of health care are well established. However, comparable models for treating sick or injured patients are less standardized. AI bridges this gap by creating protocols and algorithms for caring for sick and injured patients. AI brings advanced technology to veterinary practices. It also allows veterinarians to focus more on patient care by providing doctors and pet owners with reliable, consistent, and transparent responses in a timely manner. An exciting example of AI currently helping veterinarians is a platform called SignalPET.
What is SignalPET?
SignalPET is a patented software platform that uses machine learning and AI to examine and interpret X-ray images. SignalPET’s advanced technology was developed using the world’s largest database of annotated veterinary x-ray images. It is designed to use the way a clinician thinks when analyzing information, distinguish normal x-ray anatomy from abnormal findings, and detect 85% of the most common radiological irregularities in dogs and cats. The most common causes of cough, lameness, vomiting, and diarrhea are easy to spot and interpret. SignalPET calculates the vertebral heart rate and can describe things like lung patterns, broken bones and organomegaly. SignalPET is also continuously expanding its knowledge base, adding new tests and learning more. Every time a user takes an x-ray, SignalPET’s machine learning system improves to help veterinarians everywhere.
Two other AI solutions that can help improve your practice’s capabilities are SignalRAY and SignalSMILE, which are offered on a detailed radiology platform. Chest, abdomen, bone and joint panels are available in minutes and provide you and your customers with quick and accurate diagnostic results. We all know that dental radiology is an indispensable tool for detecting periodontal disease and other oral pathologies that can affect the health of your patients. SignalSMILE expands the possibilities of your practice by quickly detecting dental abnormalities and generating a customer-centric report that informs pet owners of their pet’s oral health. This will help your veterinary staff recommend the best follow-up care for each patient.
What are the main benefits of using AI on your x-rays?
Easy to use and accessible: SignalPET requires no new software or hardware and works with your current digital radiology equipment and workflows. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and accessible from any device, and technical support is always available. It also integrates seamlessly with the Keystone Omni platform, further optimizing X-ray functions.
Optimizes work processes, which saves time: Radiology reviews take time. In some cases, the results are not available for days. Artificial intelligence delivers results within 10 minutes. This allows decisions to be made in a timely manner so that treatment planning and other aspects of patient care are not delayed. SignalPET’s reliable point-of-care technology streamlines workflows for members of the veterinary team. It also means pet owners get results quickly, so they can work with clinicians to make timely treatment decisions for their pet.
Optimizes your bottom line: SignalPET offers customers added value that binds them to your practice. It’s affordable and easy to use, and its AI technology is cheaper than the cost of radiology consultants reviewing images, reducing the cost of patient care in your practice.
Provides a second pair of eyes: Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a constant, objective second set of eyes in your practice all day, every day, to support you and your staff in reviewing X-rays? SignalPET offers that and more. For inexperienced clinicians or new graduates who need to build confidence reading x-rays, AI creates the conditions for every x-ray to receive an unbiased analysis. Regardless of experience level, anyone can suffer from tunnel vision or subjectivity, overlook a subtle X-ray abnormality, feel pushed to review X-rays quickly, or simply be distracted by other events that happen in the practice at any given time. SignalPET meets these challenges by consistently and precisely checking every X-ray image every time.
Detects anatomical variations: Anyone who has ever taken X-rays knows that the films are not always perfect. Sometimes patients move or are not perfectly positioned at the time of exposure. Even “normal” anatomy has inherent variations (e.g., normal chest x-rays look different for a bulldog, cat, and greyhound). AI recognizes these normal variations when deciphering X-ray images.
The functionality of SignalPET facilitates the identification of pathologies and efficiently guides physicians to the next step, the decision whether further diagnostics are warranted and how the patient is best cared for.
Reduces reliance on external X-ray control: Some veterinarians turn to certified radiologists to interpret films and suggest a way forward. Usually, the doctor decides which x-rays to submit for review and which not. While that still matters, AI can help reduce the need for outside consultants at a fraction of the cost of just $ 10 per study. If a veterinarian still wants a consultation and review by a radiologist after examining the x-rays, SignalPET allows them to easily share test results and images. Having SignalPET in your practice offers the best of both worlds: a point-of-care platform that consistently and objectively reviews every x-ray, and the ability to consult a radiologist if necessary.
Offers a higher standard of care: By using SignalPET to read all X-ray images in the practice, every patient benefits from a higher standard of care. Rather than deciding which x-rays of patients to show to a radiologist for review and which not, providing the service to all pets ensures a full review every time. This consistency promotes better patient care while protecting against user subjectivity and clinician fatigue.
SignalPET’s software also creates a customer-friendly radiology report that can be printed out or emailed to pet owners for their medical records. This easy-to-use report demonstrates the importance of x-ray examination so customers can see the value of what they paid for. This improves customer engagement and satisfaction with the practice, which translates into better adherence to your recommendations.
How can you get started with SignalPET?
If you’re interested in seeing this AI radiology technology in your practice, SignalPET makes it easy for you. When you sign up for a one-week free trial, you can instantly get your test results on all of your x-rays and see the value firsthand.
Conclusion: what is in your future?
In-house and point-of-care diagnostics are now a matter of course in many veterinary practices. Twenty-five years ago it was probably hard to believe how much clinicians would rely on these advances, which in many ways have become our new normal. Similarly, AI has already found its way into human medicine and appears to be the future for veterinary practice as well.
AI is already helping veterinarians improve the efficiency and consistency of performing x-ray exams.
AI innovations like SignalRAY and SignalSMILE are already taking veterinary practices to the next level and representing the future of the industry. What’s in your future
- Noorbakhsh-Sabet N., Zand R., Zhang Y. et al. Artificial intelligence is changing the future of healthcare. Am J Med. 2019 Jul; 132 (7): 795-801.
- Jiang F, Jiang Y, Zhi H, et al. Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Past, Present and Future. Stroke Vasc Neurol. June 21, 2017; 2 (4): 230-243.